Using motivational interviewing with young people who harm

Motivational interviewing is a client-centred method of working with people to help them make changes in their lives. It is a collaborative approach to problem-solving that involves joint exercises that get the person to reflect on their situation,  identify what they would like to change and consider ways that they might achieve that change.

Whilst we know that people who experience domestic abuse may be at different stages of awareness and change, so might those who are perpetrating it. As such, practitioners of motivational interviewing need to develop a range of skills in order to effectively work with young people who harm; these skills include asking questions which elicit a belief that they can change their behaviour whilst avoiding resistance. This isn’t the same as colluding with the abusive behaviour.

In this video, Collette Eaton-Harris demonstrates how motivational interviewing can be used when working with young people who harm.

Visit our Spotlight homepage for more videos, resources and guidance on working with young people experiencing domestic abuse.