Motivational Interviewing (contributed by Teresa Cheng)

My blogs are meant to provide tools so that you can choose the right thing to help you achieve happiness and success in your active lifestyle. Arm yourself with them so you can use in whatever scenario comes up as an active women. With patience, practice and persistence you will be successful.

This month I want to introduce a strategy used in an interview style called “Motivational Interviewing”. It is used a lot in counselling scenarios to help promote the individual to come up with the answer rather than being told what to do. It is very powerful when the client comes up with the “ah-ha” moment themselves. (Think about when your husband says: “I realize that you are very tired after work, so I started you bath and dinner will be ready in an hour.” He came up with that answer completely on his own volition. You’re jumping with joy because that awkward conversation of “why don’t you just cook dinner for once” doesn’t have to come up.) Here is a tool that can help someone come to a solution without sounding like you’re nagging. Courses are offered through UBC Continuing Education or the Justice Institution in New Westminster.


Blog #3 - Bubbles

The tool is typically called the circle worksheet and there are many ways to apply it. For this blog, let’s just approach the worksheet to yourself (as tempting as it may be to try it on others you love…).

  1. Pick a topic or goal – this is normally related to changing a behaviour.
    • Example: To live a more active lifestyle.
  2. In each of the circles put in subtopics that hinder or help the topic from your perspective. Add more circles if needed

Examples could be:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Friends
  • Environment
  • Seasons
  • Food
  • Motivation
  • Family
  • Energy level
  • Depression
  1. Review each of those subtopics.  The review process is up to you but here are some suggestions:
  • Journal on each
  • Barrier Scale of 0 – 10 (0 = no barrier, 10 = maximal barrier). Why did you choose this number?
  • Write a goal on how to solve the barrier. Likelihood of making this goal? Why did you choose this number?
  • How do each of these subtopics affect each other?
  • Priority Scale of low, medium and high
  • Pro / Cons list

You can download and modify this tool here:  Motivation Interviewing circle

I have seen worksheets with arrows and pictures, collages even. Whatever works for you

I hope this tool helps build your confidence and helps you on your way to becoming an Active Woman!

Until the next blog,

Teresa Cheng, Occupational Therapist


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