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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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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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