Have you ever wondered what the spark is that shifts our clients towards change after a visit? Is it the professional’s training, level of education or years of experience?
It turns out that education, experience and training have zero effect on outcomes!
Miller and Moyers book is set to come out soon: “Effective Therapists: Clinical Skills that Improve Client Outcomes.” Their research details the 7 critical interpersonal skills that influence whether a client changes: accurate empathy, genuineness, acceptance, positive regard, evoking, offering information and advice, and focus.
The top 3 are accurate empathy, genuineness and evoking which are part of the skills of Motivational Interviewing. Are we conveying empathy in our reflections – i.e. – using reflections that show our client is like no other and we truly “get” them?
Do we genuinely shine through with our demeanor, rather than being hidden by a façade so the client feels we can relate to them?
The evoking component of MI is what separates it from other languages. We are facilitating the client’s own strengths and wisdom to support change (which stands in sharp contrast to skills in teaching and advising). Moyers and Miller’s research shows effective therapists balance evocation and direction in their sessions.
The good news is if we want to shift self-confidence and motivation, we now know the spark to light the fire towards creating lasting changes!