Saturday, January 1, 2011

What do I need to consider for audio recording a motivational interviewing session?

When setting up the process for recording sessions for MITI coding, consider the following:

Inform your clients

Orient your clients

Simply state to your clients that you are developing motivational interviewing skills or state that you are doing quality assurance of your motivational interviewing skills.  As part of this process you will be recording sessions and then submitting the audio for review.  Tell them that the reviewer essentially listens for words, sentences and questions from the counselor and client that are consistent with motivational interviewing.  Tell them that for example it is better in motivational interviewing to ask open ended questions instead of closed questions and give them an example of each.  This will not only reassure the client about the recordings but should actually help them feel confident your your skills knowing that there is a specific framework you use in your counseling.

Record all the time

If you get in the habit of recording all your sessions and simply recording over your previous session(s) the recording process will move into the background of your counseling process.  If you come up to a client and say this is the day I will be recording our session then the recording process is obvious and you may not have a session that is a reflection of your "typical" motivational interviewing abilities.


Depending upon your context and focus, you may need a release of information to submit a motivational interviewing session for MITI coding.  It is your responsibility to make sure you have all the proper releases completed before recording your sessions.

Digital Recordings of Motivational Interviewing Sessions

Sending an mp3 file via secure email is infinitely easier than keeping track of tapes, mailing them, waiting for them to arrive then waiting for me to send them back.  

Not just any digital recorder will do, however.  You want to look for a digital recorder that allows you to transfer the files to your computer.  Look for terms like "removable SD card" or "USB port" in the description.  You may need to purchase a card reader or USB cable to connect your digital recorder to your computer depending on the model.

Make sure your computer is secure

You want to treat audio recordings -- whether digital or on a tape -- just like you do any clinical record.  Make sure they are secure and that no one other than you has access.  When in doubt about a situation, just ask yourself if the record was written would you be doing what you are doing.  HIPAA, 42CFR and other confidentiality regulations apply equally to audio recordings as they do to written documentation.

Send client data only via secure email and upload motivational interviewing audios through Secure Drawer

You will need my digital ID and should follow the instructions for sending secure email outlined in another FAQ in this section. You will need to contact me and I will create a user account for you on Secure Drawer.


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Clients: login to Secure Drawer to upload your motivational intervewing session audio safely

About Me

Scott is a member of the MINT

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