Interview Date: April 10th, 2013.
People present: My younger brother and myself.
Duration: 15 minutes (excludes our general talk)
Overall summary of interview: Trying to bring a change in a family member can be very challenging. I, personally feel it can be more challenging than assisting or guiding a client. Anyways, this interview did not seem that ‘difficult’; perhaps because my goal was to NOT worry about changing my brother’s negative behavior. I initiated the interview by reviewing how we ended up last time and therefore, took his permission to re-talk about the matter without being judgemental. Once I got the permission, I allowed him to stop him, if he feels that I was ‘pushing’ him. We started the interview by reviewing his weight gain in the last year and talking about our strong family history. Then I allowed him to express his opinions and his feelings about the issue. I noticed that my brother was still sensitive to this issue. It was evident by his words like, “I wish I could lose weight.” “I would love to take some time out from my routine to be able to go to the gym”. “ I am scared”. Looking back, I find these sentences are very powerful. For him to acknowledge that he was fearful made me believe that he has desire to change, and perhaps he has ability too. However, he is at this point in time, unprepared to move his desire into action phase. This was clear that he was ambivalent. And I really want to support to help him move out of his ambivalence towards the positive end of change. His common barriers were: “lack of time” (and I vouch to that), and the common cultural food that is cooked at home (food that is high in cholesterol and sodium). With the discussion we had, I learned that my brother has potential to change. We concluded after I said that I am ready to support him in helping him talk to the family to change their meal preparation methods and by making healthy choices.
I used following principles of MI: I used empathy by understanding his state of mind. Though I am his sister, I tried having an open mind so that I can support him making his decisions independently. The best part of the interview was me listening to him and not making any judgements about his behavior. I think it even surprised him a little bit. I did not oppose resistance; I tried rolling with his opinions and tried to offer support to work through his issues and lifestyle. I think the interview ended up by boosting some self-confidence in my brother. Overall, I used the ‘goal directed approach’ to guide my brother to consider changing his diet by gentle facilitation of proposing the how and why so that he can consider and strive for goal attainment in the future.
5 A technique:
Assess: In this first step, I learned about his readiness to change. I learned that he is ambivalent. Therefore, I promoted his personal needs and aspirations into this stage.
Advise: I did offer him an advise with his permission. The intent was to share a genuine concern. Together reflecting on our family history of MI, DM, HTN etc, allowed me understand his perspective. As planned, I used the FOCUS approach throughout the interview.
Agree: When my brother said that he wants to change, I did not judge him. I did not argue with him by stating, “So what’s the problem” (like I used to in the past). I tried to demonstrate my understanding by simply listening and agreeing to the fact that he actually tried.
Assist: We did not clearly reach to any stage, where I was in the…