Video | 02:03:00

Increasing Importance in Motivational Interviewing

by Cathy Cole
With three full-length sessions in diverse client settings, Cathy Cole demonstrates strategies for working with clients who are initially reluctant to change.

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

Increasing Importance in Motivational Interviewing
A key component of making any change is to consider the change important. Motivational Interviewing, a widely used methodology for helping clients make changes, provides specific tools for addressing this critical first step. In this second video in the series Motivational Interviewing Step by Step, MI expert and trainer Cathy Cole demonstrates how to address the issue of importance with clients. Through three full-length sessions, extensive commentary, and pre- and post-session interviews, Cole provides viewers with an exclusive opportunity to see MI in action in diverse settings with people who are initially reluctant to change.

Sarah, a college student who has violated her school’s alcohol policy, is required to see Cole as part of her remediation, but she doesn’t think her drinking is a big deal. By eliciting Sarah’s reflections on her drinking and its impact on her life, and by carefully providing feedback, Cole artfully engages this mandated client without alienating her.

Holly has been told by the doctor that her young daughter is overweight. Cole, a health educator, demonstrates the challenges of staying in partnership with a client who is defensive and reluctant to believe the doctor’s assessment.

Finally, Fred is a rising high school senior who is considering dropping out of school. Cole creates a nonjudgmental space for Fred to explore the impact of this decision on his life goals, demonstrating the technique of envisioning the future.

By watching this video, you will be able to:
  • Understand the critical issue of importance in MI.
  • Learn how to conduct an MI session with people who initially don’t think changing is important. 
  • Identify specific strategies and techniques used to address importance.
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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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"In this thoughtful and insightful training video, Cathy Cole does an amazing job showing you, through the practice of working with three clients, the nuances of Motivational Interviewing. The coaching aspects of this video are extremely impressive; she has an excellent way of showing you how to stop and look at your work, and candidly evaluates her own counseling techniques. She shows different strategies and ably demonstrates the dynamic tension that is consistent with Motivational Interviewing. This is a video you will watch over and over because it is rich with material on the disciplines of this evidence-based practice."
-- Stephen R. Andrew, LCSW, LADC, Trainer/Consultant, Co-Author Game Plan: A Man's Guide to Achieving Emotional Fitness
In Depth
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How many times have you heard about someone trying to get a loved one to stop drinking when said loved one doesn’t think they have a problem? Or how many times have you, as a clinician, told a depressed patient they should exercise more, yet they don’t follow through? If you’re tired of feeling like you’re banging your head against a wall, it might be time to take a different approach.

Motivational Interviewing encourages you to meet your clients right where they are, rather than telling them what they should do. MI answers a very heartfelt question that many helping professionals struggle with: How can we help our clients see that their behavior is problematic, without alienating them through pressuring them to change?

In this video, expert MI trainer Cathy Cole digs into this critical issue of increasing importance through discussions with Dr. Victor Yalom, and demystifies MI by demonstrating each technique in the three full-length sessions. Learn core MI techniques for increasing importance such as: reflections; chunk-check-chunk; elicit-provide-elicit; the importance ruler exercise; and looking ahead. By watching Cole skillfully engage each of the three clients and listening to her voiceover commentary, you will gain a deep understanding of what MI is, how to use it to increase importance, 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 second 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 all of them. 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: 02:03:00
Number of Discs: 1
English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD
Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-314-6
Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-315-4
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:

  • Understand the critical issue of importance in MI.
  • Learn how to conduct an MI session with people who initially don’t think changing is important.
  • Identify specific strategies and techniques used to address importance.