What I’m reading: Motivational Interviewing, May 2016

“Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change” by Miller and Rollnick (second edition).

In our system, 10-30% of a Resident Director’s (RD) weekly hours can be spent on this processing and hearing alleged violations of housing policy. Conduct adjudication also represents one of the most individualized educational conversations the RD can have with a student. As a result, building a sound link between how that meeting is executed and our Residential Education Model (REM) represents an excellent opportunity to engage students in reflective dialogue. From our website:

“Western’s Residential Educational Model is guided by Baxter-Magolda’s theory of Self Authorship and the Learning Partners Model in which staff engage with students individually to enhance learning and development through the active learning process of experience, reflection, integration and application.”

Motivational Interviewing could provide the RD an approach to fostering change in the small number of students who are resistant or ambivalent about changing their behavior. Conduct meetings bring the student and RD together to discuss a specific event in a structured method. While the student must be given an opportunity to address the alleged misconduct in the meeting, there is often ample time for the RD to engage the student in substantive discussion. It’s my hope that the techniques of this book will prove useful to RDs in helping them pursue substantive discussion around the student’s behaviors that aren’t healthy, but which the student seems unable to change.

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