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Lesson III: Building Motivation for Change

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Early Traps

The following traps represent various forms of counselor advocacy that are easy to fall into during the early stages of establishing collaboration for change with your client. To avoid these traps, keep in mind the motivational interviewing methods for developing intrinsic motivation and supporting client autonomy.

  • Question & Answer Trap: You ask closed questions that your client can answer with short, non-revealing answers. more >>
    Example | Avoid It

  • Taking Sides Trap: You advocate for change and the client argues for the status quo. more>>
    | Avoid It

  • Expert Trap: You adopt the role of the knowledgeable “problem solver” and prescribe solutions for your client who becomes the passive recipient of expert advice. more>>
    Example | Avoid It

  • Labeling Trap: You define or describe your client by a diagnosis or as having a problem, and the client resists the labeling. more>>
    | Avoid It

  • Premature Focus Trap: You focus the counseling on areas and issues that you identify as important before you fully understand what is important to your client. more>>
    Example | Avoid It

  • Blaming Trap:  The client is defensive about being blamed by you or others for his or her situation. more>>
    Example | Avoid It

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Building Motivation

Evoking CT

Responding to CT





Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Exercise 5

Exercise 6

Exercise 7

Exercise 8

Self Test

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