A Curious Stance

Taking a curious stance when working with your clients may not seem like a game-changer, however it begins to shift your counseling from telling to listening. This seemingly insignificant change is at the heart of motivational interviewing, or MI.

MI is a way of working with clients that fosters change. The question is why? To answer this consider the Spirit of MI, which can be remembers by the acronym P.A.C.E

The P in PACE stands for partnership. How can a curious stance help you partner with your client? You might ask, “What have you tried?” which assumes that the client is making changes, and looking for options.

The A stands for acceptance. When helping an individual manage a chronic illness like diabetes, fostering a level of acceptance creates a stronger counseling relationship. It also creates the conditions for your client to accept that diabetes is managed, not cured.

The C stands for compassion. Compassion for your client naturally arises when you partner and accept that having a chronic illness isn’t something your client expected, caused or wanted. The compassion that arises within our hearts comes when we accept that illnesses exist. Our ability to model acceptance also provides client a powerful learning opportunity.

The E stands for evoking. To evoke is to pull forth the skills and abilities that exist within your client. “What ideas are you considering?” Is an example of how to pull your clients existing wisdom and insight forward.

When taken together, you might imagine, “If I had diabetes would I want to meet with a diabetes professional that embodied this spirit?” If you said, “yes’ then you have answered the reason why MI helps clients change.

Learn more about inclusive diabetes care by visiting the WN4DC Symposium. The continuing education programs are founded in motivational interviewing and non-judgmental counseling approaches.