The following dialogue occurred during an interview between a parole officer and an offender. Your task is
to review the dialogue, then answer the questions that follow. You may find you have to review the notes
above, as well asMotivating Offenders to Change (http://nicic.org).
Jerry Nash, a parole officer, is interviewing Rob Gregg, an offender. Gerald is an experienced officer who
has had little exposure to MI, so he will need your help to apply the techniques. Robbie is in the
institution for the 2nd time, for robbery. He is a decent fellow, it seems, but has not made the connection
between his cocaine habit and the robbery offences.
Part A: The Dialogue
Jerry: Hi, Rob come on in, have a chair.
Rob: OK, thanks. Whats up?
Jerry: Its been a couple of weeks since we last met. I thought we should get together and talk about how
things are going. I appreciate you coming by.
Rob: No problem nothing better to do
Jerry: So how are things going?
Rob: OK, I guess
Jerry: Tell me more what does OK mean these days.
Rob: Just OK It seems like Ive been in a long time, and its a long time until I see the light of day
Jerry: Youre in too far to quit, and it seems like youll never get out?
Rob: Yeah. Like that.
Jerry: You miss all the things that are waiting for you on the outside.
Rob: I do though Im not sure any more whats going to be waiting for me.
Jerry: Youve been in here so long, youre no longer sure about your life on the outside.
Rob: Sometimes I cant wait to get out, and at other times I just dont know if I care. And I worry about
when I do get out, whether I will be able to stay on the street.
Jerry: If you were to be released today, on a scale of 1 to 10, how sure are you that you could make it on
Rob: I dont know maybe about a 3, or a 4.
Jerry: 3 or 4 so at this point, not too confident.
Rob: Yeah but on another day, I might be much more confident. Its just that
Rob: Well its just that theres coke around the institution this week, and oh, man, its tempting. So far,
Ive stayed away, but
Ive been close to it, you know.
Jerry: Tell me about that feeling.
Rob: Well cokes been my problem all along, right? Or one of them. When Im using, its all I care about.
Then Im off it for a while, and I think Im done with it, until its there, and its all I can think about.
Jerry: Rob you know your parole date is coming up next year and this is a real concern
Rob: I know
Jerry: So I think its something we need to spend some time on. Do you agree?
Rob: Oh, yeah, definitely! But its
Jerry: Tell me about your drug use.
Rob: (Goes on to talk at some length about smoking dope when he was 14, graduating to cocaine in his late
teens, experimenting with heroin but backing off, and his increasing aIDiction to cocaine leading to a
series of robberies.)
Jerry: Let me see if I can put all this together. At the age of 28, youve been involved with drugs for
almost 15 years, of varying kinds. Now you are in prison for a long sentence because of crimes which are
related to drug use. You recognize the link between drug aIDiction and the crimes, and have taken some
treatment, but are not feeling much confidence about your ability to stay away from drugs, cocaine in
particular and therefore to stay out of gaol.
Rob: Id say thats pretty close.
Jerry: Its progress that you are ready to acknowledge the link between drugs and being in prison.
Rob: You think? Well you might be right but I really dont know how you can help me. Youre not much older
than me, and youve never been into drugs, I can tell.
Jerry: If thats a barrier, we can certainly try to find someone to remove it.
Rob: Maybe well see how it goes.
Jerry: OK. Well help me to understand. Im thinking that in terms of using coke, there are some good
things, and some not so good things. Am I right about that?
Rob: Hmm I guess so.
Jerry: What are some of the good things?
Rob: Well, the feeling, I guess, the euphoria. No worries about anything
Jerry: Anything else?
Rob: Well the company. The money, if Im selling. The feeling is the real reason though.
Jerry: How about some of the not-so-good things?
Rob: Ha! the downer when Im not high. The feeling of needing to get high. My ladys reaction, and my
kids I know Im neglecting them.
Jerry: You care about your lady its Susan, right? and your kids, and what they think.
Rob: Susan, yes. Yeah, I do. They matter to me. She comes to visit every week
Jerry: Susan and the kids really matter to you how do you reconcile that with your drug use?
Rob: Well in here, it doesnt matter, does it, except I would feel that I was letting them down.
Jerry: Does the fact that Susan visits have anything to do with your confidence level, or your ability to
stay away from the drugs that are in here?
Rob: Yeah I am more confident and feel stronger when I know shes coming, and right after she has been.
Jerry: So when you are ready to hit the street, will she be an important part of your plan?
Rob: Yes shes the key, I think.
Jerry: Between her visits, though, you find it hard.
Rob: I do. Its the hardest, man.
Jerry: Susan is in your corner, loyal to you. Youre most confident in your ability to stay clean when you
are expecting her, and after she has left, but in between times it can be more difficult. Is that a fair
Jerry: I wonder if you would be interested in working together to see if we can come up with a solution. I
am thinking that if you maintain your confidence between Susans visits, it might be a big step.
Rob: I might be
Jerry: Because you know, you have kept away from the drugs while youve been here, youre making that
choice every day.
Rob: I guess so.
Jerry: Now whats the next step, Rob?
Rob: I guess I could check in with the AIDictions Counsellor.
Jerry: OK when do you plan to do that? And what will you talk about?
Rob: I think hes here tomorrow night. Ill see if I can get an appointment. Maybe he can help me find ways
to reduce my cravings.
Jerry: I like the sound of that. And if Susan is coming on the weekends, what do you think of the idea of
meeting midweek, say Tuesday or Wednesday, each week.
Rob: I think that would be good.
Jerry: Well on a scale of 1 to 10, how is your confidence level now?
Rob: Maybe a 5-6 up a bit, I think!
Jerry: Well, Im sure glad it didnt go down! Take care and see you next week!
Rob: Yep thanks see
Assignment 8.1: Motivational Interviewing Techniques and Skills
Part B: The Questions
A phrase or dialog can meet the criteria for more than one answer.
1. Identify 3 open questions.
2. Identify 2 affirmations.
3. Identify 2 paraphrases.
4. Identify 2 reflections.
5. Identify a summary.
6. Identify a statement which expresses empathy.
7. Identify a place where Jerry rolls with resistance.
8. Identify a place in the dialogue where Jerry helps Rob to see a discrepancy in his reasoning.
9. Identify a place where Jerry supports Robs self-efficacy.
10. Identify a good and not-so good question.
11. Identify a forward-focused question.
12. Identify a scaling question.
13. Identify a place in the dialogue where Jerry gives advice without appearing to do so.
14. Identify an action question.
15. Identify a question which connects talk to action.