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About Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is a wonderful and effective alternative to telling people what to do regarding their health.  Many clinicians find that trying to convince people to change their behavior about their health just doesn’t work.  We have tried to threaten, coach, encourage, and convince our patients and clients, all to no avail.

Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based counseling style of relating to patients or clients.  It includes the spirit of collaboration and empathy as well as a set of counseling skills and behavioral strategies designed to help clients convince themselves that they ought to change their behavior to achieve a desired outcome.  MI includes strategies that will enhance the client’s own motivation for and commitment to change.

MI is based upon the idea that most people already have the skills and answers they need to successfully modify lifestyle and decrease health-risk.  We assume that clients are the experts in their own lives, and we collaborate with our clients to help them find these answers together.

MI is different than typical medical style, in that it avoids confrontation, coersion, cajoling, or otherwise trying to convince the client that they should change.  Our job is to help patients clarify their own goals and values and make decisions about what they will do based on those goals and values.

Motivational Interviewing has been incorporated interventions for dietary behavior change for weight management, diabetes management, alcohol and drug problems, tobacco use, cardiac rehabilitation, the control of chronic hypertension, domestic violence and many other behavioral health care problems.

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    Dr. Ellen Glovsky talks about Motivational Interviewing and Health At Every Size