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Bruce A. Berger & William A.Villaume, Motivational Interviewing for Health Care Professionals:  A Sensible Approach, American Pharmacists Association Press, Washington, DC, 2013.  (click here to order on amazon.com)

cover design for Motivational Interviewing for Healthcare Professionals: A Sensible Approach


  1.  Why Another Book on Motivational Interviewing?  

  2.  Preparing to Be Patient Centered   

  3.  What Is Motivational Interviewing? A Short History   

  4.  Toward a New Theory of Motivational Interviewing   

  5.  Understanding Sense Making and Practical Reasoning  

  6.  Developing Rapport   

  7.  Reframing the Issue   

  8.  Next Steps  

  9.  Special Considerations   

10.  Putting It All Together   (with links to six videos discussed in this chapter)

11.  Considerations for Putting MI into Use   



Health care is increasingly shifting to a focus on patient-centered care. In Motivational Interviewing for Health Care Professionals: A Sensible Approach, Bruce A. Berger and William A. Villaume illustrate how health professionals can use motivational interviewing (MI) to collaborate with patients and promote positive changes in health behaviors and outcomes.

The authors set the stage by reviewing the history, spirit, and skills of MI. Next they  introduce a new theory of MI tailored to the specific needs and backgrounds of health professionals. The book is filled with examples of patient interactions that contrast MI with a more traditional style of communication, thereby presenting MI in a context that health professionals understand well. Well-timed breaks within the content highlight learning points, common pitfalls, and reflective questions.

A key strength of the book lies in one of the final chapters, where the authors guide the reader through several cases. For each case, a full conversation between a health professional and patient is presented, with and without the use of MI. There is a clear discrepancy between the two styles of communication, and the reader can recall how the concepts of MI relate to each situation. The authors also provide an analysis of each case to reinforce and clarify important points. To emphasize the message further, a link and QR code allow the reader to view brief videos for each case. Watching these interactions drives home the benefits of using MI and helps the reader better understand how to apply these principles in practice.

The book is eye-opening for health professionals who may not be familiar with MI, and it introduces a new way to communicate effectively with patients. Readers can use the tools and real-world examples to immediately begin implementing MI in their practice.

Rachel Maynard, PharmD, Therapeutic Research Center