In this aspect of the Motivational Interviewing spirit, the clinician conveys a belief in the inherent worth of the person. This one can be a challenge, especially if you work with clients from a large variety of backgrounds. It is easier to value the worth of someone who is similar to you. Unfortunately our minds tend to undervalue characteristics that seem different to us. It can take extra effort with some clients to hold a belief in their innate worth.
That which one feels in himself to be different
is precisely that which is rare, and this is his worth.
– Andre Gide
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if
they are going to be dead by midnight.
Extend to them all the care, kindness,
and understanding you can muster,
and do it with no thought of any reward.
Your life will never be the same again.
– Og Mandino
Acceptance of worth is slipping when:
- You are annoyed with the client or have trouble respecting him.
- You find yourself not feeling as if it’s worth it to prepare as much or focus as much for certain clients.
- You focus on a client’s shortcomings or terrible things that have happened to her rather than her strengths and potential.
- You find yourself valuing or liking the person more when she does what you have asked than when she is resisting you.
- You focus on how the person needs to change rather than first accepting him for where he is now.
To reconnect with acceptance:
- Remind yourself of the worth of everyone for simply being a human. Your spiritual beliefs may help here.
- Picture this person at home with those who love her.
- Find things about this person that are unique or interest you.
People grow from where they are now. Respecting where they are now allows real change and growth. When we decide to view our clients as inherently worthy, deserving and full of opportunity, it tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.