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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes motivational interviewing, a concept developed in 1983 in order to help increase patient motivation and enhance behavioral change. Though initially used in dealing with alcoholism, motivational interviewing is now being used with other medical and psychological problems.
Purpose: As stated in the preface, "the book is for any health care practitioner who spends time encouraging patients to consider behavior change." Later, in chapter one, the authors note, "This book was written to help you have productive conversations with patients about behavior change. In particular, we describe a gentle form of counseling known as motivational interviewing, which has been found effective in fostering change across a wide range of health behaviors."
Audience: The target audience is broad, including nurses, doctors, dieticians, psychologists, counselors, health educators, dentists, dental hygienists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, podiatrists, and "sometimes even people who answer the office telephones," according to the authors. All of the authors have published extensively. Dr. Rollnick is professor of health care communications at Cardiff University, Dr. Miller is emeritus distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, and Dr. Butler is professor of primary care medicine and head of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Cardiff University.
Features: The four guiding principles of motivational interviewing are: to resist the righting reflex; to understand and explore the patient's own motivations; to listen with empathy; and to empower the patient, encouraging hope and optimism. Motivational interviewing has been shown effective with substance abuse and other physical and psychological disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, diet, hypertension, psychosis, pathological gambling, and HIV infection. This book is a step-by-step approach to learning motivational interviewing and it begins with theory, presents the core skills, and then shows how to integrate these skills in a clinical setting. Chapter eight is wonderful in presenting three case studies on how to use the method. There are also clinical examples in other chapters as well. Other nice features are the epilogue, which provides more information on the process, appendix A, aids to learning, and appendix B, a topical bibliography. The bibliography is helpful because readers can turn right to the disorder they want more research/information on. The book is easy to read and practical and the tables and figures are instructional. This is the kind of book that you can read and use the information soon after in a clinical situation. However, appendix A does contain dozens of references for more training in motivational interviewing.
Assessment: This is a practical, easy to read book that is useful with both psychiatric and physical disorders. It has a solid research base since its development in 1983. Though concise, it can help clients consider making important behavioral changes in their lives which can affect both their psychological and physical functioning. Healthcare providers will find it to be a welcome addition to their libraries, both in terms of having another set of techniques to assist clients and because of its low cost.