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