Motivational Interviewing: What It Is and Why It Makes a Difference?

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Everything you need to make a change is already inside of you. It’s a challenging concept for many – yet, motivational interviewing makes a difference in how well health practitioners can guide others toward the happier, healthier life they seek.

If you’re ready to transform your ability to help others, then it’s time you discovered motivational interviewing. Motivational interviewing is a powerful and transformative approach that is widely used in healthcare and counseling. It has proven to be a game-changer in facilitating positive behaviour change. Let’s explore what motivational interviewing is and why it makes a difference.


What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based, client-centered counseling strategy used successfully by physicians in the treatment of lifestyle problems and diseases. It is a way of communicating and interacting with clients to help them explore hurdles in their way of change and find strategies to overcome them. Developed in the early 1980s by clinical psychologists, motivational interviewing leans on the belief that the practitioner can help individuals not only draw out but enhance their own motivations.



4 Key Features of Motivational Interviewing:

Collaborative Chats: The goal of motivational interviewing is to create a space where the client feels understood and supported.  The practitioner and client have an open, empathic, and collaborative conversation in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

Discover Hurdles: Change can be hard. Motivational interviewing is a skill set that helps you guide the client to discover the hurdles in their way of making a healthy change, acknowledge those challenges, and navigate these internal struggles.

Highlight Aspirations: In motivational interviewing, you’ll help clients express their desires, abilities, reasons, and needs for change. By focusing on these internal goals and aspirations, motivational interviewing allows you to help clients feel more inspired to stick with their pursuit of a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Roll with It: Instead of the common approach to diet and lifestyle change that involves forcing clients to push through resistance, motivational interviewing teaches practitioners how to help clients roll with their struggles. This involves understanding the client’s perspective and respecting their unique values and needs while encouraging change without hostility.


Why Motivational Interviewing Makes a Difference

Motivational interviewing is an approach that respects the client’s ability to make decisions about their health and creates a sense of ownership over how they make change. It starts with effective communication (reflective listening, open-ended questions, summarization) and helps the client find their internal motivations. However, the most significant reason why motivational interviewing makes a difference is because it addresses the whole human: body, mind, and spirit. This is an approach that is a cornerstone of holistic health.

Holistic health is more than discovering how to eat more vegetables and incorporate physical activity into your day. It addresses what the body, mind, and spirit need to achieve optimal wellness. To discover these answers, the client-centered skill of motivational interviewing is required.


Motivational Interviewing at The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition

A pivotal course in the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition – Natural Nutrition Program, Motivational Interviewing is part of the unique curriculum. Go beyond surface-level knowledge of health coaching programs and become equipped with the skills you need to effectively apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios.

An integral part of the holistic health practitioner program, the Motivational Interviewing Course ensures that students graduate with a well-rounded skill set, combining nutritional knowledge with powerful guidance techniques. This hands-on approach enhances your ability to apply motivational interviewing in your interactions with a wide variety of clients.

The dedicated faculty at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition guides students through the technical aspects of learning how to be successful at motivational interviewing, leaning on their own expertise in practice to help students learn with real-life scenarios.


Are you ready to make positive change and empower others?

Join the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition’s Natural Nutrition Program and discover the power of Motivational Interviewing.



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Motivational Interviewing: an evidence-based approach for use in medical practice. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021 Feb; 118(7): 109-115.