In the previous week, I asked you to select something of significance that you have been wanting or trying to change. A decision on some aspect of your life. Using the same thing that you identified (such as wanting to exercise more, a job change, a change in eating habits, nicotine use, etc.), I want you to apply the ICR readiness ruler (Miller & Rollnick, 2002). The Readiness rulers measure three things: Importance, or the priority to change; Confidence in one’s own ability to change; and Readiness, which is a willingness to change.
Importance Scale: Now ask yourself on a scale from 0 to 5, how important is it for you to change right now (how much of a priority is it). Assign a number from 0-5.
Confidence Scale: Then ask yourself on a scale from 0-5, how confident are you in your own ability to change right now? Assign a number from 0-5.
Readiness Scale: Next, ask yourself on a scale from 0-5, how ready (willing) are you to change right now?
Now, this is how to use the readiness rulers:
For each ruler/scale, what is your number. List them.
Then, ask yourself, why did you assign that number for importance Scale? What would need to happen to make the number higher (even if it was a 5)? What would need to happen to make it lower. For example, If you say a 4, why do you say 4 and not a 3. Or if you said 4, what would need to happen to make you a 5. Explain, and then repeat the same questions for the confidence scale, and then the readiness scale.
Overview of the ICR Ruler: By asking you why the number is not lower invites you to talk about reasons for considering change. By asking you why the number is not higher, it helps you to explore the barriers and reasons for staying the same. In summary, it highlights cognitions and beliefs that get in our way of change and/or those thoughts and beliefs that support change.
You, like clients who are in treatment for alcohol dependence, may be ready to make a change but lack confidence in your ability. Or you may see it as very important, but state that you are not ready because of some stressor that you foresee in the future. Or you may have confidence in your ability to change, but don’t see it as important. This is the same process that everyone goes through in making decisions, including decisions in stopping alcohol use. For change to happen, these scales need to be aligned (generally 3-5s). The scales can be used as a diagnostic tool for counselors because it guides you to the area that clients’ need to work on, such as building coping skills so they feel more confident.
The ICR ruler is a helpful tool, and is used in addiction treatment. It is one tool that comes from the Miller’s motivational interviewing approach to treatment.
Your own post does not need any citations, but you need three separate paragraphs to write about each of the components of the ICR ruler using the guidelines above. Your responses to others need support (in-text citations and references), and I would look at the literature on Motivational Interviewing – a mainstay psychosocial treatment for alcohol dependence.
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