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How do we talk to each other?

by Ned Wicker
(Wisconsin)

Learning how to have EFFECTIVE conversations.

Learning how to have EFFECTIVE conversations.

It’s one thing to tell somebody something they need to know, but it’s quite another story for them to hear you. Sure, they listen, and they may even listen intently, but do they hear? It’s your idea that comes crashing down against their idea. It can turn into a battle of wills. I want you to listen and you aren’t paying attention. There is a disconnect.

But what if the idea I share with you, or in some way lay out before you, becomes your idea? Motivational Interviewing (MI) is first and foremost a way of being with someone. It involves a goal-oriented conversation about a particular behavior, such as drinking too much, and it draws upon a person’s own reasons and motivations for positive change.

Motivational Interviewing is a method that works on facilitating and engaging intrinsic motivation within the other person in order to encourage change. That is, it is empowered by a person’s own desire to change. It’s goal-oriented conversation style, designed to effect change by helping people examine and resolve ambivalence.

If I tell you to quit drinking because it’s killing you, you will respond by telling me to mind my own business. You don’t want to quit. Or, you can quit any time you want, you just don’t want to. You are ambivalent, you don’t care.

Non-directive conversations are not as focused. The counselor is intentionally directing conversation in pursuit of a goal. MI will meet a person where they are at. That is, if you’re just thinking about making a change, we start there. Perhaps you’ve been trying for years to change something and it hasn’t worked. We will start there.

Change comes in stages and it’s not a straight line. It’s about collaboration, not confrontation. It’s about partnership not power. It honors the person’s expertise and perspectives. It encourages power-sharing in the relationship by asking for permission to share. While the counselor may be directing a goal-oriented conversation, the other person’s ideas substantially influence the nature of the conversation.

The point is, it’s a concept or idea to consider. What kind of a conversation do you want to have if you see the need for change? What would help if you have already decided to change something, but you don’t know where to begin?

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and Finally Remember:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8






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**  We're also launching four new classes which will help you learn how to use motivation, affirmation and encouragement to end addiction in yourself or a loved one. Each class will focus on an evidence-based concept, explaining how to illicit positive change in yourself or in someone you love.

We will teach you practical techniques that research has shown to be effective for achieving change and successfully ending addiction. We'll begin offering these classes this September through Learn-It-Live (Learn-It-Live is easy to use teaching tool and you don't need to download anything to use it). Click Register Now! below to join one of our classes. The registration process includes setting up an account, but you determine your screen name to protect your confidentiality.


Four new addiction classes:

- Addiction 101, a FREE 60 minute course introducing key substance addiction recovery concepts. This seminar examines many aspects of drug addiction, including symptoms and treatment. It also introduces the Stages-of-Change as a building for recovery.  It will be held on October 3 at 6:00pm central-time.

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- Intervention, introduces you to Change-Talk as an alternative to "tough-love". Change-Talk is a method, which you can learn, to get an addict (including yourself) to move away from addiction and toward recovery.  This is a 2-hour class that meets October 5, at 10:00 am central-time at a cost of $10.

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- Change-Talk, is a building-block for addiction recovery. This course teaches you to recognize, listen to, and encourage Change-Talk in yourself and others.  Research has shown it helps lead to positive change. This is a 2-hour class on Thursday, October 13 at 10:00 am central-time, for a cost of $10.

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- Effective Conversations, explains how to use conversation to connect for recovery. Reflective listening and change-focused conversations often facilitate positive change and addiction recovery. This is a 2-hour class that will meet on Thursday, October 19 at 10:00 am central-time, at a cost of $10.

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