Although motivational interviewing is often used to address addiction and is well-known intervention, more than 20 professionals working with the addicts welcomed the possibility to attend the workshop “Motivational Interviews with Addicted Clients”, which took place on 7 December 2018 in the Welfare Department of the Riga City Council. This intervention helps people become motivated to change the behaviors that are preventing them from making healthier choices.
What is addiction and what are its causes? There are a lot of definitions, explained Ms Katrina Reikmane, a very experienced psychotherapist and couch - a trainer at this workshop. She presented the personality profile of an addict and explained their emotional needs. The addiction recovery plan was also presented and analysed.
Motivation is an internal interest, which causes person’ s activity and drives their actions. During the workshop it was stressed that internal motivation is stronger than external if it is rooted in one’s satisfaction of emotional needs and values. The principle of motivation which is “directive, person centred counselling style that aims to help people explore and resolve their ambivalence about behavioural change” (Michael Wilesand Cross Country Education, Inc.2005) was also explained. The participants of the workshop were practically involved and were invited to accomplish various tasks in pairs. Everybody had to choose one’s own goal which requires change of behavioral habits and which they have had difficulties to achieve so far, such as losing one's weight, stop eating sweets, drinking too much coffee. Then the other colleague had to use motivational interview to help his/her partner reach the set goal.
Motivation traps and ways how to avoid them are of great importance. The trainer stressed that there is danger for the professional not to “merge” with the client and become unhelpful. There is also danger that a professional could lose one’s belief and motivation. The importance of cooperation among various specialists was underlined. The participants were very positive about the workshop: “Very satisfied with the workshop! It was good that theory was mixed professional exchange of experience and practical tasks.“
By Aija Vecenane, Riga City Council Welfare Department
MUCH MORE project Turku tested archery and experienced moments of mindfulness.
Take a good position and stand straight. Be calm, breathe and relax. Concentrate, concentrate and concentrate. Focus on the target.
This might sound like some kind of mindfulness or meditation practice but actually I’m talking about archery – a sport that MUCH MORE team in Turku tried last week.
The group of six men participated in this peer group session that was a bit different from any other group sessions we have had before. Two trainers from a local archery team taught our Much More group the basic techniques. None of the group participants had tried archery before. To them it was something totally new.
During this group session the men hardly talked though speaking was not denied. The guys who normally tell jokes stayed nearly quiet this time. That’s because speaking while shooting arrows is nearly impossible. Multi-tasking and archery is a combination that just doesn’t work.
Archery is demanding though the basic technique is quite simple. It seems that you just need to stand and shoot. But if your mind is wandering it is nearly impossible to hit the target. Relaxation, focusing and concentration are necessary for perfect shots. You must really calm your nerves before you can release the bowstring and shoot. Otherwise you don’t shoot well.
This is how practicing archery resembles practicing mindfulness, the art of being present. Archery can teach you how to control your attention and regulate your emotions. It can help you to become more mindful and more able to concentrate.
We finished our archery session with a playful shooting competition. Our clients got a chance to release their inner Robin Hood. It was fun and freeing. All in all – they enjoyed themselves and left the group session happy and calm. We managed to hit the bulls-eye.
By Terhi Toppala, Blue Ribbon Association of Southwest Finland