135. Power of Empathy and Motivational Interviewing with Stephen Rollnick

Trying to drag people to change doesn’t work. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a collaborative approach that increases people’s inner motivation and commitment to positive change. Motivational Interviewing is used across numerous settings including weight loss, exercise, smoking, substance use, teaching, coaching and supports people in making change for themselves. In this episode, Diana interviews the co-founder of Motivational Interviewing, Dr. Stephen Rollnick. He discusses the power of empathy and open-ended questions as he demonstrates the spirit of Motivational Interviewing. He offers communication strategies you can use as a parent, teacher, coach, health care worker, partner or friend.

“The more we try to persuade people to change, tell them why it was a good idea, tell them how to go about it, the harder they seem to kick back.”

Stephen Rollnick

Listen and Learn

  • How to use empathy to respond to ambivalence and resistance
  • How you can speak with somebody to get the best out of them
  • Why being a problem solver isn’t always helpful
  • Why affirmation is more powerful than praise when it comes to change
  • How Motivational Interviewing is used in health care, pediatric AIDS and with athletes
  • Why being an expert can backfire
  • How even the co-founder of Motivational Interviewing falls into traps of pushing for change

About Stephen Rollnick

Dr. Stephen Rollnick

Dr. Stephen Rollnick is a co-founder of Motivational Interviewing.  He an Honorary Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine in Cardiff University, Wales, UK with a research record focused on good practice in efforts to promote change and behavior change among patients, clients and the practitioners who serve them.

His work has included support to programs for pregnant teens, children with HIV-AIDS in Africa and medication adherence in different areas.  He is a co-founder of PATA (Paediatric Aids Treatment for Africa) and the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), an international network for trainers.  He is the co-author of Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change (Miller and Rollnick, 1991; 2001 & 2012), Health Behaviour Change: A Guide for Practitioners (Rollnick, Mason & Butler, 1999) and Motivational Interviewing in Health Care (Rollnick, Miller & Butler, 2008), Motivational Interviewing in Schools (2016) and Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best: Motivational Interviewing in Sports (2020).

Resources for Motivational Interviewing

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Episode 135