The essence of motivational interviewing is best described by the acronym A.C.E. The 'A' is for honoring autonomy and recognizing the patient will make his or her own choices. The 'C' stands for collaboration. In MI it is important to not always act as the 'expert' but to instead build a non-authoritarian and non-judgemental partnership with the patient. Lastly, during the session you will evoke change by eliciting the client's ideas, desires, reasons and needs. In short, it is our job to support and assist the clients while they resolve their own issues.
We do this by incorporating the four fundamental processes.
1. Engaging: This is a very important step and may have to be circled back to if the client shows signs of discord. OARS is a set of skills developed to help build relationships and fully understand the client's issue.
3. Evoking: Using questions, responses and summaries to elicit change talk.
4. Planning: Requires some commitment from the client, then work with them to develop a plan for change.
With all of its parts, it may seem a bit daunting. However, one of the benefits to learning such a comprehensive style, is that no matter the situation, you always have relevant material to apply. At first during the activities it felt a little uncomfortable and somewhat forced. I stumbled through reflections and fought my natural "righting" reflex, but in the end I found this workshop to be extremely helpful. Like any other skill, it doesn't always come natural. Yet as you begin to master the different elements of MI, it certainly becomes a huge asset. Not only is it useful in nutritional counseling but I believe it will be beneficial in most relationships (even marriages). :)
To learn more about motivational interviewing, please check out these additional resources:
Rosengren, D.R. (2009). Building Motivational Interviewing Skills: A Practicioner Workbook. New York: Guilford Press.
Naar-King, S. & Suarez, M. (2011) Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents and Young Adults. New York: Guilford Press.