Wellfie Wednesday: It Starts With a Conversation

Wellfie Wednesday: It Starts With a Conversation

Today’s Wellfie Wednesday: It Starts With a Conversation, is an interesting look at Motivational Interviewing. This is a great post for clinicians young and old because it uses a technique that can help nearly ALL of our patients. I had used bits and pieces of motivational interviewing a few years into my career without even realizing it.

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing is a psychotherapeutic approach that attempts to move an individual away from a state of indecision or uncertainty and towards finding motivation to making positive decisions and accomplishing established goals.

One strategy in motivational interviewing is to find out why, without asking “Why…?” Also, it’s good to use open ended questions. It reminds me of Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. It is getting to the root of why people are driven to do things and accomplish goals and why it is important to them.

After exploring motivations and determining a goal, it can be useful to have the patient rate the importance of their goal. Or play “The Scale Game.” Ask, “On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being not important at all, and 10 being the most important thing in your life, how important is this goal to you right now?”

The last step in M.I. is to summarize the conversation succinctly and clearly, ideally using the patient’s words. Again, this is much easier said than done. It may help to break it up into steps. Start with the status quo, or the default future if no change is made. Follow with the expressed motivations for change, both pros and cons. Finish with identified barriers and facilitators to success. Then ask, “So, where does that leave you?” In other words, allow the patient to analyze the data and make a decision. Is it time to change? Maybe so, maybe no. Either way, it’s okay.


Motivational Interviewing
Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing can be a helpful process in educating the patient on what THEIR goals are why WHY those are their goals. They may not even realize why they are coming to see any clinician. “What brings you in to see me today?”
“My back hurts”
While this is a common conversation, its not the true root of why the patient was actually motivated to come into the office that day. It may be preventing them from playing with their grandkids or picking up the groceries, or playing in that company softball game. Motivational Interviewing may help sort this out for both patient and clinician and help get everyone on the same page.

Leave a Comment