Motivational Interviewing

What are Explanations
“A claim that pacifies wonder.” (Furman & Ahola, 1988)

Attribute responsibility to an external cause which may Give offender a sense of relief Reduce culpability Absolve him from guilt Give him a sense of entitlement to forgiveness Give him permission to make a new start where all is forgiven (Jenkins, 1993)

Searching for a cause Sidetracks Taking responsibility

Goal of Therapy
Take Responsibility for Behavior “Acknowledge fully the existence and significance of the abuse” “Understand the potential impact on his abuse on others” Accept culpability Cease abusive behavior (Jenkins, 1993)

Evaluate Explanations
How likely is it that it will assist the perpetrator in taking responsibility for his behavior (Jenkins, 1993)

Deviant Arousal Pattern
Externalizes the cause Blurs the line between arousal and action Abuse is seen as natural outcome of arousal

Impulse Control
“It is difficult to determine just what “impulse control” means, let alone how a man can take responsibility for his abusive behaviour if he has „poor impulse control.‟” (Jenkins, 1993, p. 19)

Characterological Explanations
Why in some contexts and not others?

Making Sense of Explanations
Does it help perp take full responsibility? Does it point to “plausible and accessible solutions” for ceasing to abuse Is it sensitive to all levels of context from the individual to the socio-cultural? (Jenkins, 1993)

Should not be used to “excuse” behavior or diminish responsibility Should be used to factors which “restrain men from taking responsibility for their behaviour” (Jenkins, 1993)

Search for
What has stopped him in the past from taking responsibility for his behavior? What has stopped him from taking responsibility to develop sensitive and respectful relationships with the victim and other family members? (Jenkins, 1993)

Therapist‟s Role
Decline invitations to attribute responsibility to external factors Invite him to accept responsibility himself (Jenkins, 1993)

Steps in Therapy
Invite offender to attend to the abuse Invited him to establish a mission in responsibility Invite him to consider his readiness for such a mission Facing the abuse Contextualizing the abuse Demonstrating responsibility Preventing Relapse (Jenkins, 1993)

Levels of Denial
• Denial of extent or existence of abuse

“I might have accidentally touched her.” • Denial of significance “I didn‟t hurt her. She enjoyed it too.” • Denial of responsibility. “She wanted me to do it.” • Denial of likelihood of recurrence. “It won‟t happen again.” (Jenkins, 1993)

Attend to the Abuse
How did the allegations come out into the open? How were you told? What contact have you had with authorities? How has this affected other family members? What do you think the victim feels now? What do you think the victim thinks should happen now? What do you think should happen now?

Praise Any Taking of Responsibility
Call abusive behavior abusive.
• “It takes a lot of courage to face up to the

fact you sexually abused your stepdaughter. Most men can‟t face it.” (Jenkins, 1993)

Total Denial
Don‟t argue with him. Work on family. Family confrontations are more effective than therapists. Acknowledge his fears, e.g., of not going home. Ask permission to tell him your role.

Total Denial
“Here we work with offenders and sometimes members of their families. We are concerned with every member of the family and try to find ways that will help resolve problems around the abuse that will help all family members.” “We are not layers or police and we cannot determine the truth of the matter. Only you and the victim know this.”

Total Denial
“In 99% of the cases that we see, where things are unclear, there turns out to be at least a grain of truth in the allegations. . . When there is some truth to allegations, most men are not able to face this at first.” (Jenkins, 1993)

Why Men Can‟t Face It
Shame at what they have done. Push it to the back of their minds. Fear of consequences Seems too big a step. Pushed it so far back they have almost forgotten it.

Externalize Restraints
Most abusers are very caring people. They wanted to stop the abuse but didn‟t know how. Feel panic at it coming out into the open. Most want to make things right.

Invitation to Openness
When there is some truth and offender wants to help the victim and build a better family life, It‟s his job to decide whether to face up or cop out. No one should push him. (Jenkins, 1993)

Invitation to Openness
Facing up is only way rift in family can be healed Copping out is living a lie Ask, “Would it be possible to have a family life based on respect and trust if he doesn‟t face up?” (Jenkins, 1993)

Facing Up
Only way to help the victim. Only way court will see progress. Only way to have self-respect

Ending the Interview
Take time to consider it.
I imagine: Your family is important to you. Your victim is important to you. You want a family life based on respect and trust.
• He should leave uncomfortable.

Even if He Claims Innocence
Victim believes he is guilty Victim not convinced he respects her/his boundaries He has failed to make child trust him to keep her safe.

After Some Admission
Goals Assisting those he has victimized Preventing further abuse Developing self-respect (Jenkins, 1993)

Assisting Victim
Difficult to be away from home. How are you handling this? What kind of family life do you want? How do you want it to be different than before? What kind of chances do you want to see? Do you think the victim has lost some trust in you as a result of the abuse? (Jenkins, 1993)

Assisting Victim
Is it important to you that the victim have as few scars as possible from this? Are you the first person in your family who has abused others but made a stand to try and stop it? (Jenkins, 1993)

Has anyone taken the time to explain to you the impact of abuse? Discuss the fact that kids need boundaries to feel safe. Kids are burdened by secrets They suffer in silence. Some believe they are bad and dirty.

Invitations to Prevent Recurrence
What would it mean to you if you reoffended? Is it important to you to take all the steps you can? Can you talk about what makes you think it won‟t happen again.

I understand you don‟t want to abuse again. My concern is if you have enough understanding and a plan that will work. Most offenders want to push it out of their mind and they don‟t fully face how they got into abuse. (Jenkins, 1993)

Invitation to Embark on a Mission of Responsibility
Believe he should be involved in decision to move out of the home. Reason this is important. Provides an assurance of safety for victim Gives everybody space to work on their feelings. Victim needs time and space to work on her/his problems.

Are you prepared to do what‟s best for the victim? Are you ready to do what‟s right? What tells you that you are ready? How will you handle your fears?

Facing the Abuse
Would you be taking yourself seriously – or kidding yourself – if you thought you could understand what you put the victim through without facing the details of what you did?” If you could face up to this, what would it say about you?

Invitation to Acknowledge the Significance of the Abuse
If he says the child thought the abuse was OK “What will that mean for the victim‟s future?”
• Ask permission to give him information,

e.g., that abused children get very confused because they often love the offender. Feel it‟s their responsibility.

Invitation to Take Full Responsibility
Do you think the victim wanted sex or affection? If victim “wanted it” what should a father do if their child was playing with matches or running out into the street?

Contextualizing the Abuse
Ignore “why;” consider “how” How did you fail to realize she wanted it to stop? What other ways were you abusive to her? How long have you used the victim to solve your feelings? Do you think you used her/him for your own purposes?

Demonstrating Responsibility
Are you prepared to handle your own stress? Are you ready to face your own feelings without using others? Do you want to use your head to think or your penis? Do you think you are becoming more or less aware of other people‟s feelings and their right to boundaries?

Preventing Relapse
How have you deal with sexual feelings or urges towards the victim or other children in recent times? Do you think you can be 100% sure you won‟t abuse again unless you have tested yourself against urges? What has stopped you from noticing your sexual urges?