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Change is Not A Piece of Cake: Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change

By: Gail

When I’m talking to my kids about improving either their health or behavior, they resist. Of course, they know that avoiding a ton of calories is good for you, but they want the huge slice of cake anyway. Who can blame them? Cake tastes amazing.

While working with Dr. Jonathan Fader to develop an online Motivational Interviewing Training, I learned that this ambivalence can be resolved, and individuals can move from one stage of change to another with assistance. By following this non-judgmental, non-confrontational approach, individuals can be effective in helping others with various forms of behavior change. Dr. Fader explains Motivational Interviewing really well on his website:

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a technique that was developed by psychologists Bill Miller and Steve Rollnick. One recent definition of MI calls it a collaborative, person-centered form of guiding to elicit and strengthen motivation for change. In the MI approach, clients are assumed to be in a state of ambivalence that can best be resolved by highlighting discrepancies between perceived risk and actual experience of negative consequences. The clinician identifies the difference in where clients are and where they would like to be. Through careful listening and the reflecting of “change talk,” the clinician provides the client the opportunity to explore a path toward change.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the description of the online course. You can sign up easily, and quickly from there. If you do take the course, I hope you enjoy it as much as Jonathan and I did making it.