Motivational Interviewing in Clinical Practice: The Checkup Podcast

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July 10, 2015 by Nicholas Spence

the-checkup-300x149Today, I invite you to listen to an entertaining yet opinionated and informative podcast called The Checkup: Muffin Top. It is hosted by Carey Goldberg (former Boston bureau chief of the New York Times) and Rachel Zimmerman (former health medicine reporter for the Wall Street Journal).

The first 13 minutes provide an interesting discussion on the use of motivational interviewing in clinical practice for weight related issues. The segment includes interviews with two leading authorities on the issue: Dr. Allan Zuckoff (University of Pittsburgh), author of a new book, “Finding Your Way to Change: How the Power of Motivational Interviewing Can Reveal What You Want and Help You Get There,” and Dr. Joji Suzuki, Director of Addiction Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston).

Carey and Dr. Suzuki demonstrate motivational interviewing with a scenario centered on her struggles with diet and weight loss. It was a very down-to-earth conversation that would resonate with many people. As I listened attentively, I was able to identify the motivational interviewing spirit (i.e., collaboration, evoking the client’s ideas about change, autonomy) and a variety of other related aspects of the approach, including empathy, use of open questions and reflections, self-monitoring, perceived behavior control, and self-efficacy.

At the conclusion of the interaction, Rachel says to Carey “He [Dr. Suzuki] never told you what to do,” and Carey responds, “No, it was all about what I wanted to do.” When asked by the co-host about her impressions of the whole motivational interviewing process, Carey replies with two telling points: “Who doesn’t like talking about themselves?” and “It was shockingly pleasant, there’s like something about having a real authority, a doctor, who’s so in your court.” Clearly, motivational interviewing.

I strongly suggest taking 13 minutes out of your day and listening to the coverage of motivational interviewing in this podcast!

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