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Motivational Interviewing in Schools


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Table of Contents

I. Overview of Motivational Interviewing
1. Conversations about Change
2. What Is MI?
3. The Spirit and Style of MI
4. A Conversation Map: Four Processes
5. Core Skills
6. Evoking: The Heart of MI
7. Planning Changes
8. The MI Approach to Giving Information and Advice
II. In Practice
9. Behavior, Behavior, Behavior
10. Learning
11. Personal Growth
12. Working with Families
III. Focused Applications
13. Bullying
14. At-Risk Students: MI Integrated with Other Approaches
15. Dropout Prevention and Reengagement
16. Transition to Life after School
IV. Broader Horizons
17. Improving Your Knowledge and Skills
18. Integrating MI in Schools

About the Author

Stephen Rollnick, PhD, is Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health at Cardiff University, United Kingdom. A clinical psychologist with many years of experience and a codeveloper of MI, as well as a cofounder of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, Dr. Rollnick provides consultancy and training on the subjects of motivation, change, and MI. His research and guidelines for good practice have been widely published, and his work on implementation continues, with a current focus on children with HIV/AIDS in Africa, pregnant teens in deprived communities, and MI for teachers and sports coaches. With William R. Miller, Dr. Rollnick is coauthor of the classic work Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, now in its third edition. Sebastian G. Kaplan, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section, at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. A former special education teacher, Dr. Kaplan currently focuses his clinical work on helping adolescents and their families overcome a variety of challenges to their growth and development. He has written and presented on the application of MI for pediatricians, mental health providers, and school personnel, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. Richard Rutschman, EdD, is Senior Program Manager and Professional Development Facilitator at the Center for College Access and Success (formerly the Chicago Teachers' Center) at Northeastern Illinois University. His professional experience in Chicago schools has included being a high school science and Spanish teacher and the principal of an alternative high school. Throughout his career, he has worked to support school improvement efforts focusing on student retention, engagement, leadership development, and preparation for postsecondary education. Dr. Rutschman is a recipient of the Michael Stratton Practitioner Award from the International Association for Experiential Education, for his work using adventure initiatives in Chicago schools, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.


"MI is grounded in a core belief that people can arrive at solutions to their problems or challenges if someone asks them the right questions. This book gives educators the keys to help students grapple with complex issues and decisions. MI can help you have a much more positive influence than simply telling a student what to do or how to do it."--Chad H. Adams, MA, Principal, Roger C. Sullivan High School, Chicago Public Schools

"Good relationships in school are important, and this book offers a way forward--down-to-earth guidelines for improving interactions with students. After reading the book, I have been inspired to practice the skills every day."--Andy Williams, Deputy Head, Monmouth Comprehensive School, Wales, United Kingdom

"The authors have provided teachers with a rich resource for initiating a new and productive conversation style with students. The book is filled with clear instructions and detailed examples to guide teachers in changing their communication habits to become more student focused, autonomy affirming, and motivational. It is easy to read and perfectly aligned with the latest developments in MI. This book would be a useful supplement to teacher behavior management coursework as a tool for integrating motivational conversations into effective classroom management practices and routines."--Keith C. Herman, PhD, Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri

"Every teacher is concerned about promoting positive motivation in students. This book shows exactly how to do so, not with the use of any special program but with everyday conversational interactions. MI begins with engagement, moves to focusing, evokes children's goals and aspirations, and guides them in planning for accomplishment. Students are not explicitly asked to change, but change they do, and this book is filled with tips, scripts, examples, and practical wisdom toward building teachers' expertise in this essential skill area."--Maurice J. Elias, PhD, Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

"With growing international interest in school-based MI, this publication from leading authors in the field is important and timely. Educators will appreciate the accessible style, illustrative examples, practice activities, and usable resources. The authors summarize existing research and show how teachers and other professionals can use MI in such areas as bullying and postschool transition. This book represents a major contribution to a fast-developing area of practice."--Cathy Atkinson, DEdPsy, Curriculum Director, Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology Program, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

"This book is for any teacher or other school professional who has ever felt 'stuck' and unsure of how to best help a student or family maximize their school journey. MI has proven to be an effective evidence-based practice for having productive conversations about change, but many educators are unfamiliar with it. The book provides specific skills and strategies you can use to help students plan for change and to give advice in a collaborative yet goal-oriented manner. It will revolutionize how you approach your interactions with students and families."--Mariann Suarez, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, University of South Florida Health, Morsani College of Medicine

"As the role of MI is becoming more significant in schools, this is an ideal book to help teachers learn about the topic. Rollnick, Kaplan, and Rutschman provide an excellent introduction to MI and a guide to using it in schools today."--T. Chris Riley-Tillman, PhD, Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri

"As educators, we often fall into the trap of thinking that we can magically change students' behavior through consequences, cajoling, or coercion. MI flips that notion to the idea of assisting students to tap into their own motivation through supportive and reflective conversations. This book presents research, theory, strategies, and tools that enable us to think differently about why students behave in ways we would like to change, and how to help them grow and learn. I plan to buy this book for many of my colleagues and friends."--Laurie Frank, director, GOAL Consulting; author of Journey Toward the Caring Classroom

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