Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Spirit of Motivational Interviewing Evolves - Part One

Here is a disturbing fact:  motivational interviewing (or what looks and sounds like motivational interviewing) can be done by people who might not have your best interest at heart.

"Really?" you say.  "I thought motivational interviewing was a counseling technique?"

It is a counseling technique that can be used as a persuasive technique.

Consider the stereotypical car salesman.  This person learns motivational interviewing techniques and when a person comes in "just looking" (read:  ambivalent) the salesman, armed with motivational interviewing, focuses on change talk around buying a certain model.  The unsuspecting person drives out in a new car.

Now you might think I am making this up and if so I would suggest you go over to, buy and read "How to Sell Network Marketing Without Fear, Anxiety or Losing Your Friends!".  This book might alternatively titled, "How to Use Motivational Interviewing to Convince Your Friends to Invest in a Multi Level Marketing Business."

In the next publication of Motivational Interviewing (you can get the current second edition here), this will change with the addition of the concept of Compassion to the Spirit of MI (it was there already, wasn't it) among other things.

Now the real question is whether someone using motivational interviewing strategies to get you to buy into an MLM is compassionate or not?!


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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