Outline of motivational interviewing

We have covered a lot so far in the course about change and communication and how you can improve your consultations and improve the health outcomes and the professional/ patient relationship.

We will now move onto a model that you may already be aware of – motivational interviewing and how you can easily utilise its framework in your consultations.

According to an article on the BMJ website in 2010 (https://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1900)

‘Patients often seem ambivalent or unmotivated, and clinicians typically try to advise them to change, using a directing style, which in turn generates resistance or passivity. Motivational interviewing is an alternative approach to discussing behaviour change that fosters a constructive doctor-patient relationship and leads to better outcomes for patients.’

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a framework is a great tool for getting people towards owning their own outcomes and the means by which they will achieve those goals.

The concept of motivational interviewing comes from work carried out by psychologist William Miller in the 80s with people who had alcohol addiction problems.  During the 90s he worked with psychologist Steve Rollnick and together they published the book Motivational Interviewing: Preparing people to change addictive behaviour (1991) and have since written several more books.  Their work has also been used in a significant number of research papers since then.

MI is a Patient centred counselling style to encourage ownership of change and break down obstacles and ambivalence to change.  Attention is given to the person’s natural language about change and towards arranging conversations so that people talk themselves into change based on their own values, interests and behaviours.

There are a few main areas of the Motivational Interviewing framework which we will discuss within this course.  We will provide you with some easy-to-use techniques and language tips to use within the framework enabling you to start practising those new skills immediately.