Week 4 MI essay


  1. A. How has the chapter expanded your understanding of reflective listening?

Before reading and completing the exercises on chapter 3, my idea ofreflective listening was that it entails listening without judgingwhat is being said. However, upon completing the chapter, I learntthat there is an effective way of undertaking reflective listeningwithout inviting a speaker’s wrath. For instance, I was not awarethat reflective listening entails being presumptuous because in sodoing a practitioner invites a client to give more information on theissue in question. Clients do this in their attempt to deny orconfirm the practitioner`s presumptions. However, I learnt that onemust proceed with caution in making guesses as this may promptclients to feel that the practitioner is judging them or is notinterested in understanding them. To avoid such a situation, I learntthat one should vary their routine of presenting their guesses. Also,to understand a client’s point one needs to increase the depth oftheir reflections. I learnt that one can do so by starting with apresumption that is close to a client’s words and slowly movingtowards what has not come out of a client’s mouth.

B. How might you go about practicing and enhancing your reflectivelistening skills (and avoid road blocks) in your day-to-day life?

First, to enhance my reflective listening skills, I will seek tolisten without interrupting to ensure that I do not miss an importantpoint while arguing with the speaker. Additionally, I will ensurethat I not only listen, but also maintain eye contact with thespeaker to communicate that I am interested in what they are saying.Furthermore, to enhance my reflective listening, I will practicebeing flexible in regard to matching the different speeds of talking.

  1. A. How has the chapter expanded your understanding of these components of OARS

Before reading chapter 4, I was aware of the importance ofopen-ended questions in an interview. However, after reading thechapter, I learnt that OARS need to be used purposefully andstrategically. Additionally, I learnt that open-ended questions arenot self-sufficient and sometimes a practitioner may be prompted topose a closed-ended question. To be an effective MI researcher, Ilearnt that one must strive to ask two open-ended questions for everyclosed-ended one. The problem with closed-ended questions is thatthey tend to stop momentum as the client only gives a one-word answerinstead of sharing their thoughts about the issue. As for theaffirmations, I learnt that they help practitioners achieve theirgoals which is to aid clients in coming up with solutions for theirproblems. As such, affirmations depict the practitioner`sappreciation for the client. On the part of the summaries, I thoughtthat it entailed summing up what the client has told you as apractitioner. However, after reading the chapter and completing theexercise, I learnt that summaries entail expressing the informationthe client has not expressed but was explicit in their message. Thus,when making a summary one should filter certain information andpresent it in a way that helps the client understand their situation(Rosengren, 2009).

B. How might you go about practicing and enhancing your skills inthese areas in your day-to-day life?

To enhance my skills on posing open-ended questions, I will strive toalways prepare the questions in advance. In my day-to-dayinteractions, I will seek to identify other people`s strengths asdepicted in their behavior and use this knowledge to encourage theminto believing in themselves and overcoming the challenges they areexperiencing. I can also practice and enhance my skills on OARS bywatching and analyzing interviews on television shows to identify thedifferent instances the interviewers use the open-ended questions,affirmations, and summaries.


Rosengren, D. B. (2009). Building Motivational Interviewing Skills.New York: The Guilford Press.