OPEN PDF TO VIEW & READ: ‘HOOKING REFLECTIONS TO THE NORTH STAR‘ [Paul Burke’s M.I. TIP of the Week #1827]

INTRO COVER LETTER: Greetings MI folk … on my way to Winnipeg!

This week (and next) I’m in Winnipeg, Manitoba, facilitating two levels of MI-focused workshops in the context of work with the homeless and with people who are hard-to-house. I’m really keen to meet and work with these two groups because I always learn so much about MI from working with people who specialize in issues of relevance to homelessness. In many ways, MI is ideally suited to working to enhance various motivations in homeless folks.

It is a definite challenge to use MI for homeless people, and at the same time, we learn so much about practising MI with such folks. Implemented compassion is a key element of MI work. MI requires that we respect the autonomy of the client and that we constantly work to minimize the perceived power imbalance between helper and client. It also requires that, in the face of multiple “issues”, we learn to stay focused and that we constantly connect the conversation to the target of the discussion.

In workshops, we often talk about “shaping” the conversation to keep it oriented toward the “north star”. Doing that makes your time with your client much more productive and efficient. That’s important when the stakes are high and when time is of the essence. So, this week’s T.I.P is about “hooking your reflections to the North Star”. (If you work with homeless folks, try exercise #5 in the enclosed tip!