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Dr Ellen

ISSUE #11 - November 2012

Books I Recommend

Where is Dr. Ellen?

November 29 - Workshop Trainer, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA

December 5 and 6 - Workshop trainer, MI for Health Behavior Change, Medical Care Development, Portland, ME

December 8 - Lecture at Harvard University Eating Disorders Annual Conference, MI and Eating Disorders

Contact Us

Training with Dr. Ellen
Waltham, MA 02451

Phone: 781.890.1618


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Hear Me Speak!

A teleclass with Coach Jean Caton of The Profitable Woman. Click the audio link below and hear How I turned Motivational Interviewing into a Business

The Business of Changing Behavior with Dr. Ellen

Teleclass Audio Link


Introduction to Motivational Interview DVD available!

Learn the basics of Motivational Interviewing and its application to health behavior change counseling

Discover the spirit and techniques of Motivational Interviewing including:

  • The guiding, collaborative style of Motivational Interviewing 
  • Dealing with the “righting reflex” and client resistance
  • Identifying and responding to change talk
  • Using the Decisional Matrix and Importance/Confidence techniques

Email to Order or at  (DVD102)


If you would like Dr. Ellen to speak at your next event, please contact

CT Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT

Dr Ellen teaching Motivational Interviewing and Health Behavior Change at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, November 2012

See more photos of Dr. Ellen on the Training With Dr. Ellen website image gallery here

The Changing Times

Motivational Interviewing for Positive Behavior Change

Dear Friend,

I live in the northeastern US, in the Boston area.  About three weeks ago we experienced one of the most violent storms I’ve ever been through, and lost power to our house for four days. 

As problems from this storm go, this was mild, but disturbing to me and my family none-the-less.  It’s truly shocking how dependent we are on our electronic devices!  I had no access to my computer with all of my work stored there.  It always surprises me how dependent I am on my work to define me, and how I really don’t know what to do with myself without my electronics, my work and my TV!

I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Ellen Glovsky Signature

The Four Processes in Motivational Interviewing: Part II

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The third edition of the Miller and Rollnick text, Motivational Interviewing here was published in October 2012.  One important new set of concepts is the Four Processes used in Motivational Interviewing.  These refer to the four basic sets of ideas that guide the clinician’s relationship with the client, and dictate how the guiding style of MI is operationalized. In my October newsletter I discussed the first two of the processes, Engaging and Evoking. In this issue I will describe Focusing and Planning.

Focusing in MI refers to a particular agenda, or what the person came to you to talk about.  This may also include your agenda for the client, and these may overlap or not.  Your job as a clinician using MI is to help the client focus using the guiding style of MI.  We avoid telling the client what to do, but rather guide in the direction of positive behavior change by helping the client to focus on behavior change goals. Focusing is the process by which you develop and maintain a specific direction in the conversation.

Planning includes both developing commitment to change and creating a specific plan of action. It is a conversation about action steps that includes the clinician listening carefully for the client’s own solutions to the problem. Again, this is the guiding style of MI; we are not telling the other person what or how to change, but helping them formulate their own plan of action. An important aspect of the planning process is emphasizing the other’s autonomy of decision making.  We assume that our clients are experts in their own lives, and we let them know we respect that autonomy.

These four processes are operationalized throughout our relationship with the client. They are not sequential, that is, one does not end when another begins.  They flow into each other and overlap, and each later process builds upon the ones before it.  They can be visualized as stair steps, as seen below. 

I will be writing more about this in the months to come

Four Processes in Motivational Interviewing

You are welcome to use Dr. Glovsky's articles in any of your own publications provided you copy the following into the article: "Dr. Ellen Glovsky is a Registered Dietitian and Motivational Interviewing trainer. She is on the faculty of Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where she teaches courses in nutrition, public health and MI. Her website, newsletter, and blog are at Training With Dr. Ellen."

Ellen Glovsky, PhD, RD, LDN 2012. All rights reserved.

From the Training with Dr. Ellen Blog

Game Pieces

Using Motivational Interviewing for Leadership Training

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Motivational Interviewing was originally developed to help clinicians in working with patients and clients. The idea is that the patient has free will, and can choose whether or not to change behavior.  The goal of MI is to help the other person clarify their goals and values, and decide if their behavior is in line with those values.  They can then make the decisions that work for them.

I’ve recently been asked to provide training for nurse managers and other team leaders in a variety of clinical situations.  These managers are being asked to implement “patient-centered care” and “patient medical home”.  This means that the focus must be more on what the patient needs than on what works for the provider and the practice.  The goal is to improve patient satisfaction scores.

To do this, the practices are being asked to institute a team approach, with providers, front desk staff and managers all working closely together. Each group would “huddle” or meet first thing each day and plan strategies to help provide the best care possible for each patient, and to increase their satisfaction with their visit.  This means that team members must be aware of what the others are doing, be willing to share information, and really keep the patient’s welfare front and center.

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Training With Dr. Ellen
Waltham, MA 02451

Training With Dr. Ellen

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