Today was one of those days when an item I read made me pause to say, “Gee, wish I had written that.”
Then again, as someone without a professional counseling background, I would have a hard time pulling it off in this case.
In our Addiction Professionals group on LinkedIn, a young counselor this week asked members for their best professional advice for new entrants to the profession. Group member Patrick Dieter, who has most recently worked as a group facilitator, urged the counselor to learn the evidence-based techniques of Motivational Interviewing. He then offered this perspective on MI approaches:
“It is tempting to want to confront addicts who are lost in lying and denial—to want to ‘snap them out of it’ because ‘anyone can see’ they need to change. This is probably the most damaging thing you can do to someone as a counselor.
“It doesn’t count until they can see it for themselves, and if you try to hurry that process, you will complicate things horribly. We are not in the advice business, nor the sponsoring business, we are in the counseling business. That means we listen more than we talk, and we do not pretend we know better than the client, mainly because we simply do NOT. Each person’s journey is different.”