Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2016

Identifier

PMCID: PMC4936274 DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2015.09.001

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To identify individual therapist behaviors which elicit client change talk or sustain talk in motivational interviewing sessions.

METHOD: Motivational interviewing sessions from a single-session alcohol intervention delivered to college students were audio-taped, transcribed, and coded using the Motivational Interviewing Skill Code (MISC), a therapy process coding system. Participants included 92 college students and eight therapists who provided their treatment. The MISC was used to code 17 therapist behaviors related to the use of motivational interviewing, and client language reflecting movement toward behavior change (change talk), away from behavior change (sustain talk), or unrelated to the target behavior (follow/neutral).

RESULTS: Client change talk was significantly more likely to immediately follow individual therapist behaviors [affirm (p=.013), open question (p

CONCLUSIONS: Certain individual therapist behaviors within motivational interviewing can either elicit both client change talk and sustain talk or suppress both types of client language. Affirm was the only therapist behavior that both increased change talk and also reduced sustain talk.

Journal Title

Journal of substance abuse treatment

Volume

61

First Page

60

Last Page

65

MeSH Keywords

Alcohol Drinking; Humans; Language; Motivation; Motivational Interviewing; Professional-Patient Relations; Universities

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