During an initial meeting with a service user, an advanced human services professional practitioner often conducts an assessment to determine the service user’s presenting problem or presenting needs. Conducting an assessment while also maintaining the spirit of motivational interviewing requires a delicate balance. Asking too many closed-ended questions in rapid succession may cause the service user to take on a passive role and the practitioner to take on an expert role, which is contradictory to the spirit of motivational interviewing. However, failure to elicit enough information may limit the practitioner’s ability to accurately determine the service user’s presenting problem or service needs. Fortunately, skilled practitioners are able to effectively integrate traditional assessment techniques and motivational interviewing to elicit enough information from the service user while also forging a collaborative partnership with them. You can see an example of how this is done in Chapter 11 of the course text, which is part of the assigned readings for this week.
Note: When conducting an assessment or using motivational interviewing, it is also crucial to consider a person’s cultural background in your presentation of questions and in developing a rapport. You will apply an assessment and the spirit of motivational interviewing to the service user in the case study. You also will identify multicultural considerations you would make while working with the service user. You will use this case study multiple times throughout the course, each time applying a different motivational interviewing skill.
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