Motivational Interviewing for Successful Change!

One of the greatest challenges of our existence is to succeed in changing for the better.

This is the goal of personal development, this is the goal of this blog.

If you want to help yourself or help others lose bad habits and succeed to change for the better, motivational interviewing can help you!


An effective psychological strategy but little known

Motivational interviewing, or EM, is a strategy of psychological intervention that advocates respect and openness to others, instead of judging.

EM was introduced by American psychologist William Miller in the eighties and was first developed to help addicts.

This method promotes behavioral changes by enhancing motivation.

It has of course been developed in a context to help others, but many of its teachings and methods can apply to us individually.

And do you want another good news? Motivational interviewing can be useful in all areas of life where positive – but difficult to achieve – changes are needed, such as quitting, eating better, exercising more, and (finally) saving money rather than doing it. to spend everything as you go and get into debt …

The spirit of motivational interviewing

Jean-Marc Assaad, a doctor in psychology who has been teaching motivational interviewing for 8 years, insists on the spirit that governs this particular type of communication:

To foster change, we must first respect the strengths and limitations of others, which is neither easy nor frequent … This respect also implies collaboration in change: we are all equal and must find solutions together instead of "prescribing" them to others.

This attitude is very useful because it reduces resistance, the number one enemy of change.

Motivational Interviewing postulates that the person who changes always has the answers and the best resources to succeed.

Thus, through respectful exchanges, it becomes easy to evoke change and the means to succeed rather than impose them. Each person is autonomous.

Change is a choice, and respecting the choice of others increases the ability to lead oneself to succeed.

Here are some strategies for introducing yourself to EM and helping others or helping yourself.

The "decisional balance" "width =" 274 "height =" 281 "srcset =" 274w, https: // 45w "sizes =" (max-width: 274px) 100vw, 274px "/></h2>
<p>The notion of decisional balance helps to understand how motivational interviewing works.</p>
<p>Imagine a scale that has two trays.</p>
<p>The plateau on the left contains all the beliefs that maintain our status quo and keep us from changing.</p>
<p>This tray is filled to the brim with "It's too hard," "Not right now," "It'll be difficult," and so on.</p>
<p>The other plateau, the one on the right, less well filled, contains the convictions that would motivate us to change and maintain this change in the longer term.</p>
<p>The two scales of decisional balance keep us in a state of ambivalence: on the one hand we want to change but on the other, we do not do what it takes to succeed …</p>
<p>To motivate ourselves, we must therefore "fill" the right-hand platter with as many good reasons as possible to change.</p>
<p>Here is an example of physical exercise.</p>
<h3>Status quo (contents of the left board of the scale):</h3>
<li><strong>Advantages</strong> not to change, like "I do not have to take the time to exercise."</li>
<li><strong>disadvantages</strong> to change, like "It's tiring, it's hard, etc. "</li>
<h3>Change (right board):</h3>
<li><strong>Advantages</strong> to change: "I'll be proud of myself", "I'll be healthy", "I'll stay slim and good about myself", etc.</li>
<li><strong>disadvantages</strong> not to change: "I feel guilty doing nothing and I am not happy with myself", "I will have more health problems as I get older", etc.</li>
<p>To help you make any difficult change in your life, you can do this exercise by taking notes.</p>
<p>The goal is to convince you to bring the change to the point where going back will be considered a real loss.</p>
<p>You can orient your notes as follows:</p>
<h3><strong>Plateau left (status quo):</strong></h3>
<li>Write down all the benefits you have to not change.</li>
<li>Note all the disadvantages that you would have to change.</li>
<h3><strong>Right plateau (positive change):</strong></h3>
<li>Write down all the benefits you have to change.</li>
<li>Note all the disadvantages you will have if you do not change.</li>
<p>Make as rich and alive as possible the arguments and examples you add in the right board and enrich them by also projecting you in the long run.</p>
<p>Most of the time, the reasons that keep us from changing in the left plateau are only happening in the short term.</p>
<p>If you enrich your prospect from the right board of reasons in the short, medium and long term, you will have <em>more</em> of reasons <em>more</em> <em>compelling</em> to change !</p>
<p><strong>It's a bit like what I did just before quitting for good in 2003, but it was not so deliberate, though.</strong></p>
<p>I did not smoke much (one to two packs a week), but it was good enough to want to stop.</p>
<p>In recent years, I've been thinking about good reasons to stop smoking.</p>
<p>I filled slowly, without knowing it, the right board of my decisional scales.</p>
<p>I was thinking about the health problems that I could have and I found it perfectly absurd to shorten my life by several years simply to continue to get this little "pleasure" …</p>
<p>On a beautiful winter night, coming back from the grocery store with my wife, I decided to stop.</p>
<p>The strength of conviction had made its way because I never started again. The fruit was ripe.</p>
<h2>Stopping is not a failure</h2>
<p>In a process of change, we rarely succeed at first.</p>
<p>That's why we have to see this as a process more than just a goal.</p>
<p>Imagine two points (A and B) linked by a line.</p>
<p>Point A is your current state and point B is the positive change you dream of accomplishing (It must be a change over which you have real control.</p>
<p>Winning the lottery or the casino is not part of it because we have no control over chance …)</p>
<p>During your process of positive change, you may well feel discouraged and repulsed.</p>
<p>But when that happens, you never really fail.</p>
<p>You are only momentarily stopped in your change process.</p>
<p>You are still in the race and you continue to feed the right reasons to change in the right board of your decision scale.</p>
<p>When you resume your efforts, you are always on the way and you do not start from scratch.</p>
<p>You build on your previous efforts and your momentary stopping, even if it lasted years, helped to fuel your beliefs of change, like the years I spent thinking before quitting.</p>
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The only danger is to discourage you once and for all and not to see you on the line that leads you to point B, not to see that you are in a slow process, difficult, but that will eventually lead you to success.

How to use motivational interviewing everyday?

Dr. Assaad offers a set of concrete techniques for applying EM each day, as much to promote our own changes as those of others.

These techniques are grouped under the acronym "OUVER", which denotes the opening necessary to the base of the motivational interview.

1. OR for Ask open questions (to others or to oneself).

For example, "What are the best reasons to change? As opposed to closed questions that do not help to reflect on change, such as, "Do I know how important it is to change? "

2. V for valorize.

Valuation is about making genuine and positive feedback about change.

For example, sincerely appreciate the fact that the other is making an effort and thinking about change, which you can also apply to yourself.

3. E for Active listening.

When someone talks about changes, you have to show that you really listen to them.

To do this, it is possible, for example, to repeat in other words what she says. This clearly indicates that we are trying to understand.

4. R for Execust the changes we are talking about the other.

From the individual point of view, it is also possible to reflect frequently on the process of change and summarize, for example by taking notes, where one is, how one feels, etc.

As Dr. Assaad says, we already use these techniques, consciously or not.

The goal is to pay attention to use them more.

It will be easier to transform your life by gradually making the changes that will make it better!

Excellent resources to go (really) further:

Did you know motivational interviewing?

Do you believe that this method could help you make important but difficult changes in your life?

I can not wait to read you (and answer you) in the comments.

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