As a follow up to our last email about motivational interviewing, here are some quotes and general wisdom about the relationship between behavior change and motivational interviewing. As you read through these, you will note that there is much of this wisdom that applies to many of our relationships, not just the relationship between clinician and patient. All are taken from the book Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior (Guilford Press, 2008).
- MI is not a technique for tricking people into doing what they do not want to do. Rather, it is a skillful clinical style for eliciting from patients their own good motivations for making behavior changes in the interest of their health.
- There is something in human nature that resists being coerced and told what to do. Ironically, it is acknowledging the other’s right and freedom not to change that sometimes make change possible.
- No person is completely unmotivated.
- When you take time to listen, patients feel as though you’ve spent a longer time with them than you actually have.
- Well intentioned efforts to “get through” and “make them understand” so that information “sinks in” often create the unfortunate impression of the patient as a passive recipient of information.
- Inevitably your concerns is with your area of expertise, but the patient’s priorates are much broader. He or she has to integrate the information and apply it to everyday life. How does the information that you are providing fit in with the patient’s life and perspective?
- The stronger your feelings about wanting the patient to change, the more mindful you might need to be about your own behavior.
- One last thought: People are generally persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others. (Blaise Pascal, Pensees)