Motivational Interviewing and OARS
- January 2, 2024
- Posted by: SEETHALAKSHMI SIVAKUMAR
- Category: COUNSELING
What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a counseling approach that aims to help individuals explore and resolve their ambivalence towards change. It is a person-centered method that focuses on enhancing motivation and commitment to make positive behavioral changes. MI has been widely used in various fields, including healthcare, addiction treatment, and mental health.
What is OARS?
OARS is an acronym that represents four essential techniques used in Motivational Interviewing:
- Open Questions: Open-ended questions encourage the individual to provide more detailed and thoughtful responses. These questions typically begin with “what,” “how,” or “tell me about.”
- Affirmations: Affirmations involve acknowledging and reinforcing the individual’s strengths, efforts, and positive qualities. They can help build confidence and self-esteem.
- Reflective Listening: Reflective listening involves paraphrasing and summarizing the individual’s statements to demonstrate understanding and empathy. It helps the individual feel heard and validated.
- Summarizing: Summarizing involves condensing and organizing the individual’s statements to highlight key points and provide a concise overview. It helps to reinforce important information and promote reflection.
What is an Open Question in MI?
An open question in MI is a type of question that encourages the individual to provide a detailed and thoughtful response. These questions are designed to elicit information, explore perspectives, and promote self-reflection. Open questions cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” and often begin with words like “what,” “how,” or “tell me about.”
Examples of Open Questions in MI:
- “What are your thoughts about making a change in your current situation?”
- “How do you envision your life if you were to achieve your goals?”
- “Tell me about the challenges you have faced in the past.”
What are Affirmations in MI?
Affirmations in MI are positive statements that acknowledge and reinforce the individual’s strengths, efforts, and positive qualities. They are used to build rapport, enhance self-confidence, and motivate change. Affirmations can be tailored to the individual’s specific circumstances and can focus on their achievements, values, or personal qualities.
Examples of Affirmations in MI:
- “I appreciate your commitment to improving your health.”
- “You have shown great resilience in overcoming challenges.”
- “Your dedication to personal growth is inspiring.”
What is Reflective Listening?
Reflective listening is a key technique in MI that involves actively listening to the individual and then paraphrasing or summarizing their statements to demonstrate understanding and empathy. It helps to create a safe and supportive environment, where the individual feels heard and validated. Reflective listening also allows for deeper exploration of thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
How to Improve Reflective Listening:
- Pay full attention to the individual, maintaining eye contact and avoiding distractions.
- Listen without interrupting, allowing the person to fully express themselves.
- Paraphrase or summarize the individual’s statements using their own words.
- Reflect on the emotions and underlying meanings conveyed by the individual.
- Show empathy and understanding through verbal and non-verbal cues.
What is Summarizing in Motivational Interviewing?
Summarizing in Motivational Interviewing involves condensing and organizing the individual’s statements to highlight key points and provide a concise overview. It helps to reinforce important information, promote reflection, and facilitate the individual’s understanding of their situation and goals. Summaries can be used throughout the conversation or at specific intervals to tie together different topics or stages of the interview.
How to Improve the Skill of Summarizing Properly:
- Listen actively and attentively to the individual’s statements.
- Identify the main themes and key points in their narrative.
- Use your own words to condense and summarize the information.
- Avoid adding personal opinions or interpretations.
- Check for accuracy and invite the individual to provide feedback or corrections.
Motivational Interviewing is a powerful approach that can help individuals explore their ambivalence towards change and find motivation to make positive behavioral changes. By utilizing techniques such as open questions, affirmations, reflective listening, and summarizing, practitioners can create a supportive environment that encourages self-reflection, enhances motivation, and facilitates positive change.