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Probation and Parole Interview/Case Study

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Case 1: Review the following case study. Discuss each point of motivational interviewing, why it was used, and whether or not it was successful. What was done well in this interview, and why? What would you have done differently, and why? Of the theories we have learned in this unit, which theory stands out in this interview? Where and how?

“A client-centered and empathetic counseling style is one fundamental and defining characteristic of motivational interviewing. We regard the therapeutic skill of reflective listening or accurate empathy ... to be the foundation on which skillfulness in motivational interviewing is built ... Through skillful reflective listening, the counselor seeks to understand the client’s feelings and perspectives without judging, criticizing, or blaming ... The crucial attitude is a respectful listening to the person with a desire to understand his or her perspective” (Miller & Rollnick, 2002, p. 37) In this case, the Motivational interviewing refers to an interpersonal counseling or communication style rather than a specific therapy or set of techniques (Rollnick & Miller, 1995). This style is evident in the process of MET (Motivational Enhancement Therapy). The focus of this particular interview was on helping the client to overcome reluctance or ambivalence on his own, while allowing him to make positive changes in his approach to anger management. The therapy did not assume that the client wanted to change, but lead the client to own their need for change. The motivational interviewing assumed that ambivalence is a normal part of the client’s nature. The therapist used empathy and other supportive responses to reinforce self-motivational statements throughout the interview. Using questioning and statements, the therapist attempted to enhance motivation for change by encouraging a consideration of the discrepancy between the client’s violent response to stress and his more adaptive goals. Autonomous, the client seek for a resolution to the issue with this directive and persuasive approach. Using strategies that direct the client toward specific goals rather than simply following the lead of the client, the therapist actively seek to bring discrepancies to the client’s attention. The therapist gave advice and feedback, when appropriate. “It is a method for addressing a specific problem when a person may need to make a behavior or lifestyle change and is reluctant or ambivalent about doing so” (Miller and Rollnick, 2009, p. 136), leading a response towards a positive change without confronting, by fragmenting the resultant, the therapist helped his client acquire an objective view of what is currently going on, and helping him to take charge of his situation, leading ultimately towards some responsibility.

The interview used the five basic motivational principles that form the foundation for MET. The therapist created a set of conditions that assisted in enhancing the client’s own motivation for and commitment to change. The case, followed the motivational principles throughout the therapeutic process (Miller, Zweben, DiClemente, & Rychtarik, 1995): express empathy- The therapist demonstrated caring for and understanding of the client process. Continued emphasis on the client’s freedom of choice and self-direction and the idea that only the client could make the decision for change throughout the whole interview. Using a nonjudgmental atmosphere the therapist encouraged the client to consider changes as possibilities. The therapist communicated respect for the client and a belief that the client is an equal partner in the therapy process. The therapist listened and reflected on the content of the response back to the client in an enhanced form. avoid argument and direct confrontation- the nonjudgemental environment allowed the client to perceive a problem with their taboo response to stress, which allowed the client to make his own statements about a need for change. roll with resistance- The Client started with blaming others for the problem (the Judge, his wife, etc...), but instead of meeting resistance head on, the therapists used reflection and empathy to try to understand what the client was thinking or feeling, and acknowledged his point of view. Reducing defensiveness he allowed the client to make self-motivational statements develop discrepancy- the motivation for change occurred when the client perceived the discrepancy between where he is currently and where he wants to be. The therapist focused on and enhance the client’s attention to these discrepancies, which he did by exploring the negative impact on personal, professional and societal relationship. By bringing to awareness the personal consequences of the behavior the therapist hoped to motivate a change verbally expressed. support self-efficacy- the client seem to have be optimistic about the possibility of changing his behavior. The therapist infused motivation by eliciting change strategies and problem-solving processes from the client.

The interview was client-centered, the therapist directive worked to increase the client’s motivation to self change. The responsibility and capacity for change was assumed to lie within the client. In this interview, the therapist focused on the client’s own perceptions of what lead to his predicament, goals, and values throughout the anger management therapy. not enough autonomy in the answer, too much leading, not offering an honest response from the client.

Miller, W. R., Zweben, A., DiClemente, C., & Rychtarik, R. (1995). Motivational enhancement therapy manual. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational interviewing (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Miller, W. R, & Rollnick, S. (2009). “Ten Things that Motivational interviewing is not”. Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy 37: 129-140.Case 2: Part II: Article
Click here to read the PDF file titled, “Despite Apparent Life Changes, Gang Member Gets 15 Years.”
Now, assume the person in this article is out on probation, and you must conduct a motivational interview using this information and the key points of motivational interviewing. Create your own transcript, with you as the interviewer, and either have a friend or family member role play the part of the interviewee or make the responses up yourself. Provide your complete transcripts. You may create whatever facts you feel are necessary. Which theories were prevalent in this BCJ 3150, Probation and Parole 3

begin to use MI by simply being present and listening to the client. Identify what is important to him, what he values, and the discrepancy between where he is currently and where he wants to be. The client obviously has the ability to self-change, as he did for the two years following the crime (prior to sentencing).


Agent: Jacob, you’re finally released. So now I’m gonna tell you the terms of your probation.

Jacob: I’m excited to be released and I’ll do whatever it takes.

A: First of let me introduce myself. I am Sgt Buckle and I will be managing your transition back into society. I see prior to your conviction, you had made a remarkable turn around and with a clean record in prison I foresee no issues.

J: Initially I was very angry for my sentence, but I realized no amount of good was going to bring that person back. So the only thing I could do was live a good life and that started by taking responsibility for my own actions.

A: I’m glad you were able to control your temper with the judge. It shows that you are really trying.

J: Thank you..I have a very supportive family that kept me together while I was locked up.

A: Sounds that way, so any thoughts on what you would like to do now that you are out.

J: School...maybe nothing..hell I just want to go on a date. It’s been awhile.

A: Speaking of social activities, the conditions of your parole mandate no contact with your ex-gang members, gang activity or convicted felons. Also no access to firearms. Break any of these and it’s back to yard.

J: No problem, I made those changes in my life years ago. It may be more difficult to not make contact with ex-felons since those guys have been my family for the past 15 years.

A: Let me give you some advice, don’t do it. You sound and look like a good kid, be good to yourself.

J: (Pause) I guess that’s true.

A: You hesitated, is there anything I should know?.

J: No...well, I guess the reality of it all is hitting me.

A: Once a week, you have an appointment with Dr.Rogers, therapist. She will be handing your transition as well. If for any appointment, you cannot make it please let me know ASAP.

J: I was just about to ask you about missing or can’t make appointment rules of engagement. Glad you resolved that for me.

A: Glad to be of service.

J: Yeah...well can you give me any rules on holding a job. Is there a mileage limit, curfew, etc. Anything you can provide will be useful.

A: My my eager to get back to things. Well you have my number and info, if you run into any questionable jobs, just give me a call. O: Okay.

A: But to answer your question, holding down a job is okay and encouraged. Do not engage in any illegal activities, that will send you directly to jail. Do not collect $200.

J: Funny. Well sir, I think I got it.

A: One more thing, I will be to check on you at least once a week. The times will vary. No out of state travel, without prior arrangement through my office. I must be made away of your location at all times. Questions?

J: (Thinking) No, not at all. Actually, its far less rules than what I had in prison. Is there a sheet of all my mandatory appointments and contact numbers? I can be forgetful at times so I need to ensure I make everything.

A: All the information is provided in the package I brought with me. Take care.

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