My career began post psychology graduation when I trained to be a therapist. I worked at the Community Alcohol Team in Cardiff where I was first introduced to the approach in 1993. The service manager, Rhoda Emlyn-Jones was one of the first people in the UK to be trained in motivational interviewing by its pioneers William Miller and Stephen Rollnick. I remained at this agency developing my motivational interviewing skills and then began delivering training myself.
I became part of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) in 1998.
I began my own private training consultancy in 2000 while also working part-time in the Cardiff Alcohol and Drug Team. My training work has taken me to a wide variety of professions and over the last 13 years I have delivered MI training in the health profession, including nursing and midwifery; the mental health profession, including psychiatric hospitals, notably Broadmoor; the criminal justice service, including probation, police and prison services; and social services.
More recently my work has taken me into the field of education. I have trained in many schools, both teachers and pupils. I have recently trained year nine pupils to peer mentor and peer counsel year seven pupils using motivational interviewing.
Over the 20 years of my motivational interviewing career, I have delivered in excess of 300 courses, training over 3000 professionals.
More recently my training has brought me to Cornwall where I have been involved in training the children's services team. This work began August 2012 and I have trained over 200 staff to date, many of whom are social workers or work alongside social work. I have learnt a great deal from this experience and have adapted my training to meet the needs of the professionals and the organisation.
I have had time to reflect on the relevance of motivational interviewing for social work and the usefulness and difficulties of its application to the field of children's services.