Basic Skills

The key principles in motivational interviewing include expressing empathy, developing discrepancy, rolling with resistance and supporting self-efficacy. Other fundamental skills are listening and questioning techniques. These methods are all used to help elicit and reinforce change and commitment talk in helping resolve the ambivalence commonly found in eating disorders, increase motivation to change and promote behaviour change. The mismatch in the desire for change between the sufferer and those who care for them make for a challenging task. Carers, for example, almost always tend to be in the action phase. Consequently the challenge lies in using motivational interviewing strategies to cultivate change thoughts tailored to whatever stage the sufferer may be in. Other useful skills for carers to work are the ruler and the ABC model.


Key principles of motivational interviewing
Reflective listening
Questioning techniques
Readiness ruler
ABC model