Discussion 2: Motivational Interviewing vs. Traditional Assessment Techniques

While professional interviewing can elicit information, motivational interviewing is a collaborative, conversational approach for evoking a service user’s own motivation to change. Not only do you draw upon an individual’s needs, using motivational interviewing helps to empower the service user to make the necessary changes to improve their well-being. Traditional assessment is often a question and answer process versus motivational interviewing, which is conversational and motivational. It is critical to note that traditional assessments are complex and are specific psychometric measurements that require reliability and validity in order to be a true assessment measure. Reliability is the degree to which an assessment is consistent, and validity is the degree to which an assessment measures what it intends to measure. As an advanced human services professional practitioner, you will generally use motivational interviewing more often than psychometric assessment instruments, however, this is dependent upon your practice or employment, or even your credentials. When you use assessment measures, it is important to understand the notion of reliability and validity.

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