Motivational Interviewing and the Climate Conversation Series™
MI is an evidence-based tool that originates from the Psychology literature, more specifically from the Addictions field. It has many applications in a variety of different contexts, and is frequently used by counsellors to help smokers quit smoking, as one example.
Bill Miller, the creator of MI, defines it as the following:
“Motivational interviewing is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change”.
MI is comprised of four “key processes” that build motivation for change. The following is a brief description of these processes:
Engaging: Formation of an effective connection with the participants.
Focusing: Reinforcing a specific direction in the conversation about change.
Evoking: Drawing out the participant’s own motivations for change.
Planning: Solidifying a commitment to change and making a concrete plan.
We use MI to help the students discover and confront the discrepancy between their lifestyles and their impacts on the environment throughout the Climate Conversation Series™. If the participants are ready to change by the end of the workshop, they are offered the opportunity to make a formal commitment plan to adopt new environmentally responsible behaviours and/or amend previous ones.
After the completion of the workshop, the facilitators present the participants with certificates which not only enshrine their commitments, but also serve as a reminder to uphold them.