With reference to the Transtheoretical Model,
Mandy is at the “Contemplation” stage of change as Mandy has been reprimanded
by her boss due to her poor performance at work. She knows that she has a
problem with her drinking issues and sleepless night. However, she has turned
to alcohol just to ease her pain from her recent break up from a long-term
relationship. Mandy is now in ambivalence state which feels unsure to change.
Thus, she needs some motivation, encouragement to overcome her current state
and move on.
The purpose of this technique
allows me to become a helper in the changing process and express acceptance to
Mandy. Throughout the whole interviewing sessions, I would need to be directive
in helping Mandy to examine and resolve the conflicts thoughts that she is
I will be starting to use SOLER framework (non-verbal
skills) as the approach. It will help me with the rapport building as it will
aid in the development of the counselling relationship with Mandy and also
creating a sage therapeutic environment throughout the whole counselling
Next, after building up rapport with Mandy, I
will gain her trust and reduce her anxiety so that she will share and tell me
what had happened to her. In order for that, I will use the four basic skills
in motivational interviewing, OARS (verbal skills). Starting with the first
skill, asking open-ended questions as this will makes her elicit fuller with
more meaningful responses by encouraging Mandy to talk longer. e.g. “Tell me
more about why you had been drinking lately.” Which Mandy will explain what had
happened to her lately which caused her to be neglecting her duties at work. We
could ask more open-ended questions for her to voice out in the counselling
Followed by 2nd skill, affirming
responses. Giving affirming statements is one of the ways to build up rapport
and knowing their positive behaviours and strengths which also will give them
confidence for them to change. E.g. “I appreciate that you are were willing to
share your problems with me. If I were in your position, I might have a hard
time dealing with that amount of stress.”
Following on, it’s the 3rd skill,
reflecting listening skills. It is by paraphrasing what Mandy has comment in
the session which will stimulate a deeper understanding of the issue so that
Mandy could examine the problem more objectively. E.g. “This is what I hearing
about your issues that you are facing; please correct me if I am wrong.”
Last skill would be summarizing, in this I will
be able to put together the key themes, issues and feelings which Mandy has
spoken about. In this skill, it also can be known as “Self-motivational
statements”. This will allow Mandy to verbalize and recognize the
issues/problems she is dealing with the observations that I have mention and
asking whether is there any other further input.
So, by applying SOLER(non-verbal) & (ORAS)verbal
skills into the motivational interviewing techniques. Out of the five
principles, I will be using Expressing Empathy and Develop Discrepancy.
By expressing empathy, listening skills is
essential in understanding of what Mandy is facing in her current situation due
to her recent break-up from a long-term relationship. In the process of the
interviewing, I will let her understand her thoughts and feelings without
judging her as a form of respect in the counselling format. During the
interview, I will persuade her slowly and gently while letting Mandy understand
that the final decision whether to change or not is still up to her choice.
Regardless so, I will still encourage her into changing for the better plus
giving her sometime to research on how people change when they are also at the
current stage as her.
The purpose of this interviewing is to develop
awareness of consequences which will help Mandy to examine her behaviour. By
letting her to know the pros & cons about her partying and heavy drinking
issues which could affect her health & work performance which she had work
hard over the years to a manager position who is in-charge of 15 staffs. I will
ask Mandy questions like. E.g. “What do you see your life to be if you are not
making changes and continue in your night life partying and heavy drinking
issues?” Alternative, E.g. “What do you think how your life would be different
if you are not in heavy drinking issues?” As Mandy share with me her story, I
could also share with her some videos and research which some how connected to
her case. By doing so, she would understand the consequences if she continues
her present lifestyle and her life goal conflict. Which I can encourage her on
focusing on what she wants and change for the better.
The reason why I choose the two out of the 5
principles of Motivational Interviewing is because expressing empathy is the
most important for all counselling interview. It can let me understand how is
the client going throughout the situation before coming in for the counselling
session. Next is developing discrepancy, I can find out whether is there any
discrepancy in work inefficiency between Mandy and her workplace.
Mandy has heavy drinking issues. So, by
applying the S.M.A.R.T format for the desired change.
Mandy’s goal is to have a drink on Friday or
To improve her performance at work due to her
job position and sleeping time at night to be more focus at work.
Reducing to 3 times per week and slowly decreasing
to 2 times per week and generally lowered down to once per week.
Checkpoint: I will call Mandy to check on her
progress once every 3 days.
Moderate exercise or activities (e.g., Yoga,
Zumba, Dancing classes) during Mandy’s free time after work (at least once or
twice per week).
Checkpoint: Setting a day for her to exercise
by seeing her weekly work schedule.
Replacing alcohol to healthier drinks (e.g.,
Fruit juice, Water, Hot Chocolate/Milk, Green Tea.) while having her meals or
hanging out with her colleagues/friends after work at night.
Also by increasing her exercise or activities
to at least 2~3 times per week.
By asking Mandy’s families, friends, working
colleagues to encourage/motivate her with the action and plan. So that Mandy
could feel the support from them.
Short-Term: Reducing her night parties and
drinking issues which will improve her sleeping plus having a healthier
Long-Term: Improving Mandy’s performance at
work and keeping her job.
Time Limited/Time Based
Reducing her night parties and drinking to
1~2 times only on Friday & Saturdays from the 4th week
Increasing her exercise to 2~3 times a week
on 5th week onwards.
Mandy could have encounter some psychological
barrier issues during the change process. One of the psychological barrier
which Mandy would have faced is Blaming. This is a common negative automatic
thought which Mandy will be facing during the changing process, this condition
will surface when she might be thinking that she is not good or perfect as a
girlfriend in her long-term relationship which have caused the break-up. This
will affect her self-esteem which will cause her to have emotion break down.
Mandy might be facing this current stage right now whereas she will need
alcohol to ease her pain.
With reference to Mandy’s profile and situation
that she is currently in now, I will apply Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) on
Mandy to help her to overcome the psychological barrier which was issued in the
~ Increasing her hope and commitment towards
~ Encouraging Mandy to resolve her issue
through her own efforts.
~ Increasing Mandy’s self-awareness to her
thinking and behaviour patterns.
~ Preventing Mandy’s addition relapse towards
night partying and alcohol.
~ Overcoming her sleepless nights.
~ Letting Mandy to learn some strategies to
stop unwanted thinking and learn to think clearly of what she wanted and
In order for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
to be more effective on Mandy, I will need to work closely with Mandy’s
immediate supervisor so that when she is recovering from issues that she is
facing, she won’t have unnecessary stress coming from her workload and troubles
facing from her team at work.