Saturday, January 1, 2011

I went to many trainings, do I really need MITI?

You have attended motivational interviewing trainings over the years -- possibly many motivational interviewing trainings -- and you wonder if you really need the MITI.

There are two things for you to consider:

  1. Do you overestimate your skills?
  2. How do you learn to play a piano?

First, do you overestimate your motivational interviewing skills?  Research shows that practitioners consistently overestimate their abilities / skills.1

Second, if you want to learn to play a piano will you do so from attending a training and listening to a teacher talk about how to play, how a piano is made, when pianos are used in orchestras and why piano music is important?  No, of course not.  If you want to learn to play the piano, you sit at the piano and practice.  You take lessons:  meet with someone weekly who knows how to play who observes you playing and gives you feedback on your technique.  You don't do this once or even twice.  You do this for many years.  The question you have to ask yourself is whether the practice of motivational interviewing as complex as the practice of playing the piano. 

For me the answer is clear:  practicing motivational interviewing is an incredibly complex process -- more complex than playing a piano.

If you agree with me then the question that remains is only the when and how of feedback to develop and maintain your motivational interviewing skills.


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About Me

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Scott Graham

After receiving two undergraduate degrees from the University of South Florida (one in Psychology and one in Communication) I worked with at-risk kids then moved to New England to work as Counselor and Outward Bound Instructor.

(I had hiked the Appalachian Trail by myself a few years earlier so the opportunity to be in the wilderness and get paid was a dream-come-true).

Working with Outward Bound and other wilderness / adventure schools was great and it was here that I honed my abilities to help people tap into more then they thought they had.  It was here that I really learned to coach.

After a few years of working wilderness courses from Florida-to-Oregon I entered graduate school where I earned a degree in Management.  Along the way I achieved certification and faculty status with the William Glasser Institute.  Glasser's techniques grounded in Lead Management and Choice Theory help people identify what they really want and develop more effective ways to get it and is the primary model I use in coaching.  

I returned to Outward Bound for a short time as the Assistant Program Director of an Urban Center in Boston with the focus of developing therapeutic health services.  The pull of what had become my home was great however and I eventually returned to the country to work in Vermont.

I started working in a substance abuse treatment program through the Vermont Department of Corrections, called ISAP, and was eventually promoted to Program Director.  While working in the ISAP Program, I  was the architect of a consistent treatment design which I implemented statewide at nine sites.

Along the way I started 2 businesses:, LLC and Willoughby Forest, LLC.

Currently I am active as a trainer, motivational speaker, business / personal coach, clinical supervisor and personal trainer (I am a Certified Personal Trainer by the National Federation of Personal Trainers).  My focus / approach to life coaching is as a Reality Coach™.  I am a member of the International Association of Certified Coaches (IAC).   

I am committed to common sense conservation [I am a former West Fairlee Conservation Commissioner].  My partner and I steward 110 acres of Vermont forestland (Tree Farm #1464) developing agri-forest products like ginseng, in addition to timber and are both Cooperators through Vermont Coverts.  I am active in Toastmasters, currently serving as District 45 Area 20 Governor.  I volunteer with the West Fairlee Fire Department, and serve my community as elected Town Lister and Constable.  In my spare time I teach at the Community College of Vermont.

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Scott is a member of the MINT

Scott is a member of the MINT
Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers