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There are a variety of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to encourage behavior chane especially when it comes to weight loss. One such technique is called motivational interviewing (MI) which is a self management support method. It is a method that has been scientifically shown to increase motivation and commitment for sustained behavior change and adherence to treatment.

Do you have clients who overthink making changes, or always find a way to avoid committing to a goal? Using motivational interviewing techniques in your practice may be helpful in these cases.

This conversational style of communication helps clients to verbalize their thoughts and barriers they might perceive that prevent them from making a change, set their own goals and then verbalize their own commitment plans. This method is rooted in neurolinguistics programming, helping clients to make a switch to positive thinking through eliciting change talk, affirmations, reflective listening and summarizing discussions.

MI has been used in various clinical settings for managing chronic diseases, and recent evidence has demonstrated that it can lead to effective behavior change after just one session. The goal as the practitioner is to refrain from judgement, proved support and nudge clients to create and verbalize their ideal health goals.

Examples of questions to ask include;

“How can I help you get through some of the barriers you are experiencing”

“How would you like to see your life 3 years from now?”

“What will happen if you don’t change?”

“What makes you think that it is time for a change?”

“What is the best thing that will happen if you change?”

MI can be particularly in weight management where several attempts at sticking with a weight loss program is a common occurance. MI can be useful to assess motivation and readiness to change as a reminder for clients on why they are making lifestyle changes as well as affirming that the road ahead may not always be obstacle-free. Your role as a practitioner is then to use right resources and information at the right time for the client.

You may already have your own style of providing counselling to clients, however adopting a new technique which is backed by strong scientific evidence, can move your clients from inaction to action in a shorter period of time with better health outcomes in turn.

When it comes to DNA testing, MI can be a good time to elicit why clients feel they need a test or why they would benefit. This is a great time to manage expectations as the test is part of a long-term intervention, not a quick fix. We hope you’ll give MI a try and see how your clients respond!


The GenoVive Team



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