Case Study Interview: Unit V

Complete a written evaluation of the following interview document. In your evaluation, explain each point of motivational interviewing, why it was used, and whether or not it was successful. Your evaluation should also include what was done well in this interview and why, and what would you have done differently and why. In addition, identify the prominent theory (from the ones discussed in this unit) along with where and how it was identified in this interview.



Agent: So, one of your supervision conditions is to attend anger management classes.

Offender: Yeah, well, my wife should be in jail for provoking me into things.

A: It seems to you like she shares some of the blame.

O: And the stupid judge blew up at me for no reason. It made me so mad, when he doesn’t know what really happened.

A: I’m glad you were able to control your temper with the judge. It shows that you are really trying.

O: If I had done what I felt like doing, he would have thrown me in jail.

A: So, it sounds like you have the ability to control your behavior even when you are provoked.

O: Oh, I can control it when I have to. Or want to.

A: And with your wife, you . . . ?

O: To be honest with you, she just makes me so mad. Why should I be the one who always has to remain calm?

A: Still, with your wife’s behavior, part of you wishes you had acted differently.

O: (Pause) I guess that’s true. Like, right now, I am still so mad at her because she got me into all of this, but I guess it wasn’t the best decision to slap her.

A: It’s like part of you is still angry with her but the other part feels bad for hitting her.

O: I guess so.

A: There’s a part of you that wishes you could handle her behavior without losing control of your own.

O: (Thinking) That’s right. It sounds like I don’t love her, but I do. She already told the attorney that she was sorry she called the cops on me. I could tell she was sorry in court and that’s why I just pled guilty. If she testified, she probably would have lied for me and I didn’t want that. The reason I was so mad when I came in here is because the D.A. was making me out to be some kind of monster and the judge went out of his way to humiliate me in front of all of those people.

A: The whole process has been bad for you. It’s embarrassing to be on supervision. And now you are thinking that in spite of her behavior last night, that your love for your wife is stronger than your anger toward her.

O: Yeah.

A: There’s a lot of regret there.

O: Yeah.

A: What else has it cost you?

O: (Pause) my kids. We told them to go upstairs, but they know what’s going on my parents fought like this, and it’s the scariest thing you can imagine.

A: And you don’t want your kids to have to go through what you went through.

O: (Thinking) And it’s self-respect. It’s not just my wife, but the people I know, my friends and coworkers—I would die if they knew what happened.

A: So, let me see if I’ve got this right: You and your wife were having a verbal altercation where you got so angry, you hit her. She called the cops. Even though you are still a little angry with her, part of you knows that your behavior was wrong. And now, you wish you had a way of behaving better in this situation. So, where does that leave you?

O: Well, I wish we both knew a better way of handling things.

A: Let me ask you this. How important is it to you to have a better way—let’s say on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not important and 10 being very important—how important is it to you that you handle future conflicts with your wife better?

O: Definitely, a 10

A: It’s at the very top. Why a 10 and not a lower number?

O: Well, I want us to be happy and to be there for each other. I hate all of this.

A: So, changing this behavior couldn’t be more important.

O: That’s right.

A: On the same scale, how confident are you that you could change your behavior if you wanted to?

O: Right now, I want to say a 10, but I don’t really know. Maybe about a 5.

A: You’re pretty confident.

O: Yeah, there’s a couple of things I can do.

A: What would it take to get that number up a little, say to a 6 or 7?

O: (Thinking) I don’t know. I’m just not sure just these anger management classes will help. I think we both should get some counseling or something. I know we are going to forgive each other when I get home, but, tomorrow, all of the same problems—the bills, the kids, time for ourselves—it’s all still going to be there.

A: So, maybe getting some help for the both of you would bring that to a 6 or 7.

O: We can’t afford it. Our financial situation is one of the biggest stresses.

A: So, if there were a place that took into consideration your financial situation, you would be more willing to go there.

O: Oh, I would definitely go. I think my wife would too, since she has brought it up before.

A: So, what would you like to do about that?
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