Video | 01:56:00

Building Confidence in Motivational Interviewing

by Cathy Cole
Having a plan isn't enough. Learn to help clients build the confidence they need to put a change plan into action. Cathy Cole works with three clients who lack confidence in their ability to achieve their goals.

Part of the 4-video series: Motivational Interviewing Step by Step

Building Confidence in Motivational Interviewing
A key component of successfully making a change is having the confidence to put a change plan into action. In this fourth and final video in the series Motivational Interviewing Step by Step, expert MI practitioner and trainer Cathy Cole demonstrates various strategies to address clients’ lack of confidence. In three full-length sessions, Cole provides viewers a unique opportunity to see MI in action in diverse settings with clients who lack confidence in their ability to achieve their goals.

Janet believes it is important to get more exercise but, as a single mother, doesn’t know how to fit this into her busy life. Cole helps her develop a personalized and specific plan of action that increases the likelihood that Janet will be successful at attaining her objective.

Julie is a vivacious teenager torn between her love of good food and her desire to lose weight. Cole walks her through a series of manageable dietary changes, then elicits past successes and personal strengths as a way of increasing Julie’s confidence.

Vance is concerned that he is not making as much progress as he would like toward financial security. Cole uncovers his core life values in the course of an explorative conversation and, by tying these values to his goals, helps Vance increase his commitment to make tough choices and come up with a plan of action.

By watching this video, you will be able to:
  • Identify in sessions various roadblocks to confidence in effecting change.
  • Learn to utilize personal strengths, values, and past successes.
  • Use MI techniques best suited for clients who want to change but are low in confidence.
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This video is also part of our online course MI Step by Step, which offers additional practice exercises and includes 10 CE Credits.

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"With this unique collection of counseling vignettes, practitioners can learn how to help clients build their confidence as they envision and plan for meaningful change. Through in-depth interviews and accompanying critical commentary, Ms. Cole shows practitioners how the spirit and processes of motivation interviewing can be skillfully employed to help people increase self-efficacy while moving towards change."
-- Sandy Downey, MS, LPC, 
member Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers

"A richly intelligent presentation around helping others raise confidence for change! Cole beautifully illustrates several effective strategies, in use within client conversations, and offers insightful commentary to aid practitioners in their MI skill development. The examples are instructive and valuable for seasoned and newer MI learners alike.
-- Ali Hall, JD, MI Trainer and Consultant, San Francisco, CA and College Park, MD

"This video is a helpful tool for those who want more background in one of the central concepts of Motivational Interviewing: building confidence. Cole explains this concept in detail, gives insight in what actually can be done to build confidence while working with patients and then further reflects upon her work. A helpful resource for those who further want to strengthen their insight in MI."
-- Rik Bes, Centre for Motivation and Change, The Netherlands
In Depth
CE Test
Imagine your client believes it is important to change, has resolved her ambivalence about it, and now is ready to make the change, but weeks have passed and she still hasn’t followed through. What’s going on here? What’s missing? According to Motivational Interviewing, a crucial step in facilitating change is looking at the client’s confidence in her ability to change. By identifying where exactly the client is lacking confidence, MI provides a framework and tools for addressing what is oftentimes the last obstacle to change.

In this video, expert MI trainer Cathy Cole demonstrates how to help clients explore past successes, and how they can use those to build confidence in the present. She shows how to use affirmations to help clients remember their personal strengths and how to facilitate your clients’ best efforts at following through with their change plans. Watch Cole demonstrate how to respond when clients ask for advice and how to maintain a collaborative partnership with your clients, especially when they are ready to change and it can be especially tempting to tell them what to do.

By watching Cole skillfully engage each of the three clients in this video and listening to her voiceover commentary, you will gain a deep understanding of what MI is, how to use it to build client confidence, and why it is such a powerful and widely used approach to behavior change.

For a comprehensive understanding of Motivational Interviewing, we recommend that you view the complete series, Motivational Interviewing Step by Step. Note that this is the fourth and final video in that series, and while you will learn a lot by watching only this one, you will get a much fuller understanding of the approach by viewing them all. For a complete introduction to the fundamental principles and techniques of MI, we particularly recommend starting with the first video in the series, Core Concepts in Motivational Interviewing
Length of video: 01:56:00
Number of Discs: 1
English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD
Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-318-9
Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-319-7
Cathy ColeCathy Cole, LCSW, has trained thousands of diverse professionals in MI since 1995, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. She maintains an active clinical practice, and can be reached through her website,

See all Cathy Cole videos.

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CE credits: 2
Learning objectives:

  • Identify in sessions various roadblocks to confidence in effecting change.
  • Learn to utilize personal strengths, values, and past successes.
  • Use MI techniques best suited for clients who want to change but are low in confidence.