Helping patients to change behavior and other outcomes

Healthcare involves not just giving people treatment. They come in with challenges connected to the way they lead their lives. The impact of poor environments on health and wellbeing is considerable.

Then the conversations begin, and all too often, it’s about helping people to find a better balance, adjust their medicines or address their use of substances, smoking, diet and exercise.

This is where Motivational Interviewing (MI) comes in: it might make good sense simply to tell them what to do, but this all too often falls on deaf ears, even worse, it can lead to kickback or resistance. “I would like to advise you to…” is met with a blank look or a “Yes but I can’t because…”.

Benefits of MI in Health care

We have worked on MI in healthcare for over 25 years, conducting research studies and developing practical strategies for use in hospitals, primary care and in the community.

Common to all is a shift in approach that is at the same time both fundamental and simple: instead of badgering patients to change their ways, you briefly connect or come alongside, and help them to do this for themselves.

Guidelines and books have been written for practitioners in many fields of healthcare. Among the benefits of MI are:

  • It can be used in brief consultations
  • The skills involved help you to connect rapidly with people, not just as patients, but people. They appreciate that.
  • It saves you spending time otherwise wasted in persuading people to change.
  • It can be combined with skilful information and advice-giving in a helpful way.
  • It lifts the responsibility off your shoulders to solve every problem you come across, because patients do the work for themselves.
  • It is effective in many circumstances.

Learning Motivational Interviewing

Simple is not the same as easy. Motivational Interviewing is simple to understand, and is like a very normal conversation too. Yet it requires practice to get better at, once you have grasped the basic shift in style.

Stephen Speaks About Motivational Interviewing

Steve Rollnick explores the clinical applicability of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in various contexts ranging from harmful substance use, ARV adherence and mental health.

About your online trainers in Motivational Interviewing for Healthcare

Stephen Rollnick

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Stephen Rollnick provides consultancy and training on the subjects of motivation, change and motivational interviewing. He an Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cochrane School of Primary Care & Public Health, Cardiff University, with a research focus on good practice in efforts to promote change and behaviour change among patients, clients and the practitioners who serve them.

He is a clinical psychologist with many years of experience in service provision and in the training of practitioners. This work, much of it on motivational interviewing (MI), has taken him into diverse cultures and settings. He has now retired to focus on training, writing and consultancy.

Stephen is a co-founder of motivational interviewing. His current work includes support to programmes 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 a supporter of the MI 1% Fund which aims to donate a small percent of your income directly into efforts to help one of the most vulnerable and unjustly treated group of people on earth: children who are dying of HIV/AIDS and TB.

William Miller


After receiving his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Oregon, he has been at the University of New Mexico since 1976, where he retired as Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry in 2006. Understanding addiction and its treatment has been a wonderful medium for pursuing his fundamental interest in the psychology of change. It has also been a fertile field for exploring the historic interface between spirituality and psychology.

Chris Butler

Professor of Primary Care

Chris Butler is Professor of Primary Care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Professorial Fellow at Trinity College, and is the Clinical Director of the University of Oxford Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit. Chris is also the Director of the NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics Cooperative for innovative diagnostic and monitoring technology to enhance Community Healthcare.
See our Online Courses for Health and Medical Professionals

Consultation In Motivational Interviewing

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Online Training For

Medical & Healthcare Practitioners

From Beginners to Advanced level online courses, learn how to help patients change behavior and make your consultations more effective and enjoyable.

Online Courses:


Dr. William R Miller, Dr. Stephen Rollnick & Dr. Christopher Butler

Cardiff Workshops

Steve offers in-person workshops on a regular basis in Cardiff, Wales.

See Upcoming Workshops

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