"I want to be someone my son can look up to," Chris Robinson said and looked at the room of counselors standing before him.
"Family is important to you," one counselor said.
"Being a good father is important to you," another responded.
"You want to set a good example for your son," a third counselor said.
Chris nodded, knowing each counselor has told him a truth about his values. The counselors are using a technique called reflection – one aspect of Motivational Interviewing, or MI. Chris is not a client, but the manager of clinical services for Highfields' residential program. He is leading a training in MI to teach Highfields' counselors these techniques.
"MI is a way of getting information and helping the person realize what their motivations are to reach their goals," Chris said. "You never tell anyone they're right or wrong or good or bad, but rather you help them navigate through their own thought processes and motivations."
He began giving trainings last July and has since given 10 in places like Detroit, Eaton and even in California. Most recently, he decided to share his knowledge with his coworkers at Highfields. The training was made possible by a grant made by the Granger Foundation for training and treatment.
"It's important to continue to help staff update the skills they have," he said. "Highfields' personnel utilize Motivational Interviewing techniques already, which was a pleasure to see. It will probably be used to its full potential here."
Chris performed the training with Jennifer Salerno, a nurse practitioner who trained Chris. Nearly 30 Highfields counselors from all four offices came to the training.
"It's very topical at what I'm trying to get to with my clients," said Cheryl May, a Multisystemic Therapist from Highfields' Howell office. "It will help them sustain advancements after treatment is done."