Motivational Interviewing


Now, some folks with trauma don't actually want what's best for themselves
Yes, in fact I think the article I read said that MI is not ideal for trauma work. I think a lot of survivors are not ambivalent at all about their situation—they are damn sure it’s not going to get better. We could put the word sure in quotes, but that’s often their reality. I thought my T was being cruel when in the beginning she asked me to list what I was grateful for and share what I was looking forward to.

But these small things, which felt monumental, did slowly slowly make things better.

I think I’m sort of stuck now on the concept of directed versus non-directed. Because from what I read, MI is very much directional but maybe framed in a way that appears non-directional?

Also, I wonder if it’s possible to assume that individuals do want what’s best for them even if they express and behave otherwise? Or if that’s a dangerous position to take and it’s better to take people at their word?

I think there’s some kind of theory of the “self-regulating system”—that all mind-bodies “naturally” (not a fan of that term) move toward a place of homeostasis. And maybe that’s what you are referring to when you say
I would just want what's best for you, and I'm usually going to assume that you do too.
MI isn't specifically trauma work, but can help some people get some of their symptoms under control.

I don't think it's necessarily helpful to talk about homeostasis when it comes to emotional regulation. But I have found that most people are willing to do small, relatively simple things to improve their lives even if they hate themselves. I don't know what those things are, so it's impossible for me to direct people to them. MI gives people a chance to direct themselves to those things.

And then that's where this comes in:
But these small things, which felt monumental, did slowly slowly make things better.