I Never Wanted to be a Salesman, But Here I am; The Art of Motivational Interviewing and Why “Selling” is a Crucial Skill for All Health Care Professionals (Counseling) (Viewpoint Essay)

Imagine my great surprise when I happened to read about sales techniques while preparing a lecture on Motivational Interviewing and noticed the overlap between the psychological literature and how-to-sell literature. Although I don’t attempt to persuade people to make psychological changes that I judge to be unnecessary, I do nevertheless attempt to persuade; I try to sell people on the advantages of the courses of action I’m recommending to them. Patients routinely come to my psychotherapy practice wanting to make positive changes without having to make positive changes. In other words, if improvement could happen magically, without sacrifice or expending significant effort, and if one could be guaranteed that improvement, then it would be a done deal.

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