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Guiding as Practice: Motivational Interviewing and Trauma-Informed Work With Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Motivational Interviewing and Intimate Partner Violence Workgroup

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Over the last five years, a new paradigm has emerged in social services. Numerous social service providers are now being asked to provide treatment within a framework of trauma-informed care. Trauma-informed services recognize the pervasive impact of current and previous violence on the everyday lives of many clients. Such services prioritize the establishment of a safe, trusting relationship where trauma can be disclosed. Trauma-informed services also account for the potential effects of clients' experiences of violence and trauma on their relationship to treatment and to treatment providers. This article describes trauma-informed services and the potential that Motivational Interviewing (MI), an evidence-based, client-centered, and guiding communication style, holds for utilization within trauma-informed work. A case vignette is provided which demonstrates primary MI skills that can be used to create a climate of safety and trust, and effectively elicit and strengthen clients' motivation for change. A discussion of the case and ethical aspects associated with MI in trauma-informed work is also provided. In addition, suggestions are made as to the potential MI holds for further use with traumatized clients.
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Keywords: ETHICS; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING; PRACTICE; SUBSTANCE USE

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • Partner Abuse, a peer-reviewed journal, recognizes that physical and emotional abuse among dating, cohabitating and married partners is as a major public health and social problem in North America and around the world. Its purpose is to advance knowledge, practice and policies through a commitment to rigorous, objective research and evidence-based solutions. In addition to original research papers and literature reviews, the journal welcomes viewpoints and commentaries on the topic of partner abuse, as well as clinical case studies, book reviews and letters to the editor.
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