6 Inquiries to Ask in Your Teaching Session That Can Assist Shoppers Overcome Self-Doubt


Motivational interviewing is a strong software to help shoppers in being lively leaders of their very own well being and wellness journey. 

Whereas asking your shoppers questions, not solely are you studying extra about them, you’re making a secure house the place they will take into consideration previous experiences and present well being behaviors

One of the highly effective and efficient outcomes of motivational interviewing is the ability it has to assist shoppers overcome doubt. Doubt is a standard expertise amongst individuals who have a need to undertake a brand new well being habits or modify an current one however are conscious of private and environmental challenges that will are available the way in which of doing so. 

On this article, we offer you six query prompts that can be utilized to have interaction your shopper in a dialogue that can assist them to beat self-doubt.


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What Is Motivational Interviewing? 

Motivational interviewing is a method the place you construct a secure house for shoppers to inform you about their experiences, opinions, information, and needs. Within the course of, not solely does the coach turn out to be extra conscious of the distinctive experiences and challenges of their shoppers, the shoppers are given house to extra concretely categorical their priorities and targets and hook up with deep motivating elements behind present behaviors and desired ones. 

In motivational interviewing, you ask your shopper open questions on what their present well being behaviors are; why they’ve constructed these behaviors; if, how, and why they’ve considered altering them; and a number of different subjects. While you don’t maintain judgment as they reply, they really feel validated and heard, and this builds a way of belief within the coach-client relationship. 

When applicable, you possibly can ask shoppers in the event that they wish to hear concerning the data you have got earlier than providing it freely. When coaches ask for permission and encourage reflection, it may possibly tremendously impression the openness of shoppers to listen to data which may be helpful to them. 

You may be taught extra about motivational interviewing, together with the basic ideas and core abilities, right here. 

The Position of Doubt in Some Well being Conduct Change Frameworks

Well being habits change frameworks are extraordinarily helpful for serving to to grasp how individuals undertake and maintain wholesome behaviors which can be conducive to wellbeing. They’re additionally helpful for serving to us to consider elements that impede individuals in transferring from one stage of habits change to a different that will get them nearer to adopting a brand new well being follow sustainably. 

Remember that, identical to alternative is just one issue that influences well being behaviors, self-doubt is only one kind of doubt that will impede people from making well being habits adjustments after recognizing a need to take action. Different kinds of doubt might embrace a insecurity in a healthcare supplier and/or whether or not environmental elements will permit the person to make well being habits adjustments. 

The Position of Doubt within the Transtheoretical Mannequin of Conduct Change

The transtheoretical mannequin was developed by Prochaska and DiClemente with the aim of summarizing the unifying elements of a number of habits change theories. The transtheoretical levels of change mannequin, which is pictured beneath and described intimately within the full weblog about well being habits change theories, is summarized in 5 predominant levels: 

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Motion
  • Upkeep

The motion of a person alongside the 5 levels is taken into account progress towards desired change. At any stage, a person can relapse to a earlier stage. 


Why would possibly an individual relapse or not progress to the following stage of well being habits change? There are a number of causes, together with:

  • A scarcity of social help
  • A scarcity of entry to healthcare companies
  • Adjustments in priorities
  • Adjustments in well being targets  
  • Change in well being standing
  • Adjustments in or an underestimation of the ability of social, environmental, and psychological determinants of well being

Self-doubt is taken into account one of many psychological or cognitive determinants of well being. Well being coaches have an necessary position in understanding and supporting shoppers in modifying their mindset which may be impeding their progress from one stage to a different. 

The Position of Doubt within the Well being Perception Mannequin of Conduct Change

The Well being Perception Mannequin is likely one of the most generally used well being habits change frameworks. It’s also one of many oldest in Western society, which is why it has considerable research that help its use. 

The Well being Perception Mannequin focuses on the psychological determinants of well being habits change. The psychological determinants embrace:

  • Perceived susceptibility to growing a well being situation 
  • Perceived severity of the well being situation 
  • Perceived advantages of taking motion to stop or scale back the chance of the present situation 
  • Perceived obstacles to taking motion 
  • Cues to motion or occasions that happen that inspire an individual to do one thing otherwise 
  • Self-efficacy or the arrogance in an individual’s skill to take motion 

The psychological determinants are interconnected, and they’re knowledgeable by trauma. Beneath is the diagram that explains how the completely different psychological elements come into play with one another in keeping with the Well being Perception Mannequin. 



Self-efficacy is the alternative of self-doubt. So, when well being coaches wish to assist shoppers overcome self-doubt, what they need to be aiming to do is enhance the shoppers’ sense of self-efficacy. 

Traits of Self-Doubt

Beata Souders, a candidate for a doctorate in psychology, identifies a number of traits that individuals with self-doubt or an absence of self-efficacy might have. 

These embrace: 

  • Avoiding accepting challenges in concern of failing
  • Believing that they’re incapable of change or of performing sophisticated duties
  • Specializing in adversities and previous failures as character traits or private shortcomings
  • A scarcity of sense of dedication

6 Motivational Interviewing Query Prompts to Assist Shoppers Overcome Self-Doubt 

Be aware: Keep in mind to observe the ideas of motivational interviewing when utilizing these query prompts in your follow. 

Are you able to inform me a few time the place you made a change you needed to make in your life? 

When your shoppers stroll right into a well being teaching session with you, they could assume that you’ll solely be speaking about progress updates towards their well being targets. When an individual is experiencing self-doubt of their skill to make well being habits adjustments, they may have bother remembering that they’re able to change. 

Shifting the main focus from well being behaviors, which can be a topic of rivalry, to constructive experiences previously, might not solely lighten the temper but in addition creates a chance on your shoppers to mirror on conditions the place they had been in a position to overcome adversity.  

Some follow-up questions you would possibly wish to ask embrace:

  • What do you assume made that scenario completely different from different moments the place you confronted adversity?
  • Are you able to recall one other scenario the place you needed to make a change and did it?
  • Are you able to recall a scenario the place a change was surprising, however you loved the result? 

What private strengths do you have got that might enable you obtain your well being targets? 

It’s doable that your shopper might reply that they don’t have any of the abilities they should obtain their well being targets. On this case, you would possibly wish to migrate away from talking about well being targets for a couple of minutes since they may really feel significantly susceptible or uncertain at that second. As an alternative, you possibly can ask them to consider knowledgeable aim or private aim they’ve achieved previously. If they’re having bother pondering of something, you possibly can present some examples, reminiscent of graduating from highschool or school, getting a certificates, touchdown a job, shopping for a home, or getting taxes so as. 

Then, ask them to establish private strengths they’ve that allowed them to attain that aim. If they’re nonetheless having bother vocalizing their strengths, you possibly can ask permission to share what you understand are your shopper’s strengths primarily based on the knowledge they shared with you. Some adjectives it’s possible you’ll wish to think about using, when relevant, embrace:

  • Assured
  • Dedicated
  • Hardworking
  • Organized
  • Targeted
  • Robust 
  • Resilient
  • Reliable
  • Resolute
  • Sure
  • Assured
  • Convicted
  • Daring
  • Composed
  • Assertive

You may ask in the event that they agree with these descriptors and clarify how their previous actions reveal these traits. Subsequent, you possibly can discover whether or not these traits may be utilized to attaining their well being targets and even visualize what it could appear like in the event that they did so. 

What encourages and conjures up you? 

You may focus this query on their well being targets however not essentially. For those who select to use it to your shopper’s well being targets, it’s going to assist to spotlight perceived advantages and cues to motion of the Well being Perception Mannequin. 

At first, for some shoppers, it may be useful to talk extra usually about what encourages and conjures up them and discover these components. Then, you possibly can ask them in the event that they really feel these individuals, emotions, or components they talked about are related of their well being behaviors and well being targets. 

You may also wish to ask about whether or not they’re excited about modifying their well being targets in order that they lean on what encourages and conjures up them extra clearly. 

What are you able to achieve by making a change? 

This query helps shoppers mirror on the perceived advantages of adjusting their well being habits. One of many benefits of this query is that shoppers typically see the advantages as solely coming about as soon as the ultimate aim is reached. The place related, you possibly can provide details about how incremental adjustments can provide advantages. 

For instance, in case your shopper needs to satisfy the minimal bodily exercise pointers (half-hour of average train a day, 5 days every week) as a part of a method to decrease their hypertension, you possibly can inform them, with their permission, that even a couple of minutes of motion throughout the day is helpful to their coronary heart well being.

Not solely do these conversations provide a secure house to debate progress and setbacks, however additionally they assist shoppers to put aside an all-or-nothing mentality and be proud and forgiving of themselves.  

Who may give you help in making this variation? 

The position of social help in overcoming self-doubt is usually missed. People are naturally social beings that thrive in tight-knit teams. Social help might embrace members of the family however not essentially. They could be associates, colleagues, or individuals from help teams. 

Your shopper might even particularly look to you as somebody whose help they’re in search of with a view to make a well being change. If that’s the case, or in case your shopper is struggling to establish individuals who they will rely on, provide your full help and ask them what they want that to appear like. 

Keep in mind, nonetheless, to bolster your skilled boundaries so that you don’t expertise burnout

What can we work on collectively to make you are feeling the progress I’ve seen? 

Earlier than asking this query, ask your shopper in the event that they really feel okay with you making an statement about their progress. 

With their permission, lead with a concrete statement or instance of the progress you’ve perceived and recall traits associated to self-efficacy. 

Right here is an instance of the way you would possibly wish to use this query: 

Since we first began assembly, I’ve seen that you’ve got [make a positive observation about their progress]. This reveals nice [mention traits or characteristics]. How can we work collectively to change your targets and enable you respect the progress I’ve seen?

The aim of this query is to reevaluate the teaching plan or your shopper’s well being targets. You would possibly discover they felt that the targets they’d initially set with you had been unrealistic, so opening the door to revising these targets to permit them to really feel like they’re extra attainable can characterize a big reduction to them within the quick run and better self-efficacy to attain well being habits targets and maintain constructive well being behaviors in the long term. 

Important Takeaways

Self-doubt is a standard challenge when individuals need to make a change in any facet of their lives. In terms of well being behaviors, the well being coach is the first professional in easy methods to help shoppers in overcoming self-doubt and different cognitive obstacles to constructive well being habits change. 

Motivational interviewing strategies are one solution to discover the completely different parts that affect well being beliefs that affect how people are making progress towards well being habits change. When the query prompts on this article are built-in into a bigger teaching technique, your shoppers can start to really feel extra self-efficacious whereas additionally understanding that the well being teaching house is a secure house

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  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/report/2008-17602-004
  2. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/element/physical-activity 
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0272989X08327068
  4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/109019817400200405

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