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Now that you have learned the basics of MI, it is time to focus on a few specific tools. The aim is to be able to experience how MI can work in practice. 

Some tools can best be understood as a basis for the MI-talks because they play a crucial role in providing space for discussing change and for giving the person opportunities to express change talk and to actually make a change.

First, a brief theoretical introduction and then a few examples. Although the tools seem simple and obvious, it is important to remember that MI is something that must be practiced if you want to use it in the best way possible. 

PART 1: Affirmations

Affirmations are done by highlighting the strengths of the person or of what they plan to do. A person who is treated in an encouraging and positive way dares to think and talk about their desires for change.

Affirmations improve the person's self-image and increase confidence to implement a change. They can help to create an image of themselves as a competent and valuable person. Affirmations of strength also help the person feel seen, not only because of their problem or difficulty, but as a person who has strengths. Affirmations also strengthen the working alliance.

Affirmations should be given in this form to emphasize that the leader's feelings or thoughts are not central, but the person's strengths are. 

Don’t say:

“I appreciate that you have done this.”

Instead say:


  • “You are brave to have taken this step.”

  • “You care about your children.”

  • “You are a curious person who wants to learn”.

  • “You are brave when you dare to try something new.”


Today’s task
Today you should practice giving affirmations, something you may already be pretty good at. For you to really practice this, you should practice with everyone you meet this week.