FIU Addiction Week 6 Core Interviewing Skills Questions

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Core Interviewing Skills: OARS

Using the OARS counseling skill in MI, let us practice Open Questions, Affirming, Reflecting and Summarizing. 

I. First, convert these to OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS:

1. How many cigarettes do you smoke per day?

2. In the last week, how many alcoholic drinks have you had?

3.. Have you ever been incarcerated? 

II. Next, demonstrate an AFFIRMING statement for each client’s response:

1. Everyone has to die some way, smoking is the only pleasure I have.

2. Life would be boring if I could no longer drink.

3. I will probably be in and out of jail for the rest of my life.

III. Now let us practice a few REFLECTING skills:

Below you will find a sample of statements made by clients.  In this exercise, you are to withhold all advice and questions.  You may only respond with brief reflective statements.  Think deeply: what is this client really trying to say – what is the underlying meaning here?  Then generate as many reflections as you can and feel free to take creative risks.  

1. ” I don’t have a gambling problem.  I just like to gamble a little too much sometimes.”

2. “My parents used [drugs and alcohol] throughout my childhood. Why can’t I?”

3. “Those squares go and work those minimum wage jobs.  I make great money selling dime bags, and pot should be legal anyway.” 

IV. SUMMARIZE using the same three questions from above. You may want to preface your summarizations with the examples below.

“Let me see if I am understanding you properly . . .”

“Let me summarize . . .”

“Allow me to make sure I am following you correctly . . .”

V. Which of the OARS’ skills is easiest for you to practice and why?

VI. If you were to choose one of the OARS’ skills to increase your counseling proficiency, which one would it be and why?

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