How Motivational Interviewing Helps Avoid Counseling Conflict

By Megrette Fletcher M.Ed, RDN, CDCES

Motivational interviewing is a well known, scientifically tested method of counseling clients and is viewed as a useful intervention strategy in the treatment of lifestyle problems and disease. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials show that motivational interviewing in a scientific setting outperforms traditional advice-giving to treat a broad range of behavioral problems and diseases.

How MI Works

  • It relies upon identifying and mobilizing intrinsic values and goals to stimulate behavior change.
  • It is elicited from the client and not imposed by the healthcare professional.
  • Motivational interviewing elicits, clarifies, and resolves ambivalence and to perceive the benefits and costs associated with it.
  • Readiness to change fluctuates, and promoting change is facilitated by interpersonal interaction.
  • Resistance and ‘denial’ is often a signal to modify motivational strategies.
  • Eliciting and reinforcing the client's belief inability to carry out and succeed in achieving a specific goal is essential.
  • The therapeutic relationship is a partnership with client autonomy.
  • MI is both a set of techniques and counseling styles.
  • MI is directive and client-centered counseling understanding and eliciting behavior change.

Handle Counseling Situations With Confidence

Clients come into your office with a range of issues, including denial, self-blame, restrictive eating, or refusal to engage in treatment. You've heard it before.

  • "I don't know why I am here."
  • "I know that I've caused diabetes."
  • "I can't eat salad for the rest of my life."
  • "I won't take insulin."

You know that change requires more than just knowledge; it takes support. Motivational interviewing will provide you the ‘how-to’ tools to provide nonjudgemental support and weight neutral care for your clients. It all sounds great, and it is easy to see how powerful this counseling approach is for healthcare professionals. The issue is there are few opportunities for nutritionists and diabetes professionals to explore how to use MI in diabetes care. HAES professionals face the additional challenge of finding a weight-neutral motivational interviewing training. The WN4DC Symposium is excited to announce the launch of their coaching program.

The goal of the WN4DC Symposium Coaching Community is to give professionals that have had formal MI training a chance to bring MI deeper into their unique work environment. Learning more about the WN4DC Symposium coaching program or enrolling in the MI coaching session is easy, but time is limited. The coaching program launches August 3, and space is limited to 10 professionals. Jump on over and reserve your spot today. Here are the specifics about the MI and DIabetes Session

Specifics About This Course

  • Meets four times over two months.
  • It meets every other week for 1.5 hours.
  • It starts Oct 5 and meets on Oct 5, Oct 19, Nov 2 and Nov 16 from 3:30-5:00 PM ET.
  • Sessions are LIVE and are NOT recorded.
  • The price is $199 for 7 hours of coaching.
  • Learn more, visit