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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