Seiler Consultancy Ltd
Independent Social Work Assessments and Services

What is...?

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing embraces a client-centred approach and helps people explore and resolve their ambivalence about a certain behaviour. Resolving the ambivalence is thought to enable the person to begin and make positive changes.

Motivational interviewing is...

  • Non-judgemental and collaborative
  • About listening rather than telling
  • Based on client-professional partnership
  • Gently persuasive.

Motivational strategies include...

  • Giving advice
  • Removing barriers
  • Providing choice
  • Decreasing desirability
  • Practicing empathy
  • Providing feedback
  • Clarifying goals
  • Active helping (1)

(1) Danny McGowan, Trainer and Consultant, facilitating a training workshop in London on the 2nd April 2009.
Also refer to Miller, W. R. and Rollnick, S. (2002): Motivational Interviewing: Preparing people for Change, 2nd ed., New York: The Guilford Press

Psychosocial counselling

Psychosocial counselling is an approach of counselling based on Freudian concepts, including personality theory, psychosexual development and ego-defence mechanisms.

The psychosocial counselling approach aims to work with both the psychological and social dimensions of the human personality; it accepts that people have ‘inner worlds and outer realities’ (1).

Methods used by practitioners include:

  • Conveying acceptance
  • Encouraging the person relieve tensions by 'ventilating' their feelings
  • Logical discussion of problems
  • Role-modelling
  • Giving information
  • Offering advice and guidance
  • Offering practical support. (1) (2)

(1) Coulshed, V. and Orme, J. (2006): Social Work Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan;
(2) Collins Internet-linked Dictionary of Social Work (2006): 'Social Work'. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers

Social pedagogy

Social pedagogy is an academic discipline concerned with the theory and practice of holistic education and care. Social pedagogy draws on theories and concepts from related disciplines such as sociology, psychology, education, philosophy, medical sciences and social work.

Social pedagogy has a long tradition in many European countries, including Denmark, Norway, France and Germany. Theories vary from country to country, however, there are common principles underpinning most of these concepts. Amongst other, Petrie et al. identified the following commonalities:

  • The practitioner sees herself/ himself as a person in a relationship with the child or adolescent. The relationship is central and so are communicating and listening.
  • Children and staff are seen as inhabiting the same life space, not as existing in separate hierarchical domains;
  • Pedagogues are required to constantly reflect on their practice, but are also practical in that they share in many aspects of the children's daily lives and activities. (1)

1) Petrie, P. et al. (2006): Working with Children in Care – European Perspectives. Maidenhead: Open University Press;
Also see Kornbeck, J. and Rosendal Jensen, N. (Eds.) (2009): The Diversity of Social Pedagogy in Europe, Bremen: Europäischer Hochschulverlag


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