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The Changing Times

The latest in the world of Motivational Interviewing

January 5, 2012

 Upcoming Events with Dr. Ellen

Motivational Interviewing and Health Behavior Change

Onsite Workshop
April 20, 2012

Northeastern University Boston, MA 

Online Webinar
Motivational Interviewing and A Non-Diet Approach

All times are East coast, US.  Webinars are 90 minutes long.

February 6, 1:00 PM
March 16, 12:00 PM
April 17, 1:30 PM


Registration Links


WS106 - Workshop

WB102 - Webinar


Contact Us

Training With Dr. Ellen

85 Lincoln Woods Rd.
Waltham, MA USA 02451
Phone: (781) 890-1618
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! 

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your interest in MI and in my work.  I especially appreciate the 30 new subscribers since my first newsletter in December.

This year I will be offering an Introductory MI Workshop in April, July and December in Boston, MA.  I hope you will be able to join us.  It is such a pleasure to train others in Motivational Interviewing and help them to shift their own behavior with their clients.

I hope we can work together soon!



Ellen Glovsky, PhD, RD, LDN




Listening Skills in Motivational Interviewing

Get Your “OARS” in the Water!

As health educators, we rely on our choice of words to influence our clients’ behavior and to promote change. What we say and how we say it often makes all the difference between success and failure. In MI, we describe the effective elements of a health behavior change consultation with the acronym OARS:

1. Ask Open-ended Questions

2. Affirm

3. Listen Reflectively

4. Summarize

1. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions encourage the client tell you more about the topic. Closed-ended questions prompt single word or short answer responses from clients. Examples include, “Are you feeling depressed today?” or “How many servings of fruit do you eat?” Open-ended questions invite clients to talk: “How are you feeling today?”, “How does fruit fit into your diet?”

2. Affirm
Affirming the client is a key ingredient of the MI style. Affirmation lets the client know we’ve noticed positive things they have done. Effective affirmations are brief and precise; for example, “You are really committed to keeping your food records” or “You’re really trying hard to eat more veggies – it’s very important to you.”

3. Listen Reflectively
Reflective listening is a key element of MI. Such statements are small summaries of what your clients says, or the presumed meaning of these statements. Reflective listening serves as a partner to open-ended questions; ask an open question and then to follow it with at least two reflective statements.

4. Summarize
Summarization is an exceptionally effective way that the practitioner can guide the client towards a commitment to change. Summaries that identify change talk and the discrepancy between current behavior and client core values are highly motivational and increase commitment to change. So, when you interview a client, be certain to use your OARS.


Training With Dr. Ellen | 85 Lincoln Woods Rd, Waltham, MA USA 02451 | (781) 890-1618 |