A big fine, for instance, isn’t necessarily a better deterrent than a lesser one that is administered quickly and effectively.
But if the client also conveys a strong desire to get a degree or a worthwhile job, or start a family or get out of debt – these also constitute motivators for success.
It’s not just what you present to your client — it’s how you present it. By following a few simple rules, you get better results. It’s not a perfect system, by any means. But it should improve outcomes.
Topics: client engagement and motivation, client types and needs, counseling, counseling skills, court-mandated, criminal courts, DUI/DWI, legal problems, leverage, resistance manipulation ambivalence, Using Leverage Series
Clients will test boundaries just to see what will happen when they do. If you’re prepared for such tests, and can avoid some predictable errors in response, you’ll find that the course of treatment runs smoother.
Wasn’t it Archimedes who promised that given a lever long enough and a place to stand, he would move the world? In using leverage, think of credibility as the place you stand.
Understanding how leverage works in the context of addiction treatment can give you the tools to identify your client’s agenda, and help them over the “rough spots” that inevitably occur when you work with offenders.
Having a judge or a parole officer holding the big stick on them may be enough to get them into treatment, but it’s usually not enough motivation to get them beyond the minimum of compliance.
The family had good representation from important people in the alcoholic’s life, and there was professional help, but that’s not leverage.