Richard G. Petty, MD

Motivational Interviewing and Exercise

Researchers from Germany have
re-visited the interesting topic of the association between aerobic
exercise and psychiatric disorders, and presented their work in a
poster (NR20) at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric
Association in San Diego, California, this morning.
There is good evidence
that exercise can help people with depressive and some other
psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, like everyone else, people with
psychiatric problems have trouble in developing regular exercise habits
or staying with the program. The mood problem itself may stop them, or
the physical pain that so often accompanies depression.

223 people were screened at the time of admission to hospital and 82
decided to participate. That is a disappointing but unsurprising rate
of participation. The patients were offered a three-month
running/walking program that they could continue after discharge. They
all had weekly meetings that included exercise-related psychoeducation,
stretching and 40-50 minutes of aerobic exercise.

In addition the experimental group received brief interventions using motivational interviewing,
a specific technique to foster changes in behavior. Motivational
interviewing is a client-centered non-judgmental and
non-confrontational appraoch to change that attempts to increase
peoples’ awareness of the potential
problems caused, consequences experienced and risks faced as a result
of the behavior in question. Alternatively, therapists help clients
to try and envision a better future and to become increasingly
motivated to achieve
it. These strategies seeks to help clients think differently
about their behavior and ultimately to consider what might be gained
through change.

In people who had the motivational interviewing, the completer rate
was 78%, compared with 33% in the control group who just had the
psychoeducation, stretching and exercise.

The patients’ initial self-assessments concerning the importance and
efficacy of regular exercise for their individual recovery did not
predict compliance.

This confirms that motivational interviewing is highly effect in
helping people with mental illness initiate and continue with a regular
exercise program.

This new research adds to a body of evidence that has shown that motivational interviewing can be helpful in the treatment of obesity, weight management in women with type 2 diabetes, exercise in women with fibromyalgia, quality of life in people with chronic heart failure and physical exercise in long-term cancer survivors.

It may also be very helpful in people who need to exercise yet have no psychiatric problems: any of us!

When Being First Is Not the Only Thing

Regular readers and anyone who’s looked at my blogroll, knows that I like Zach Lynch’s consistently insightful blog.

He has been working on a project for four years, and now it appears that someone is coming out with some of the same ideas in a book that is due to arrive in late September.

This does not look to me like plagiarism. Once a new idea is out there, it quickly spreads, and people will run with it.

You might be interested to see some of the comments that I made on Zach’s site.

The other book may be superb. But the important point is that although being first is the only thing in competitive games, in the world of ideas that will help us, being first is not the only thing.

Being correct is the only thing.

Rooting Out Resistance to Change

It is never easy to change our mind about anything, as long as we remain attached to a particular belief, outcome or line of reasoning.  Subsequently, we can become inflexible and intolerant of new ideas.  There are several barries to emotional, personal and spiritual freedom and ATTACHMENT is one of the most potent.

In my recently released book, Healing, Meaning & Purpose:  The magical power of the emerging laws of life, I discuss 12 major reasons why people resist change.  They are:

  1. Being unaware that change is possible.
  2. Having entrenched belief systems.
  3. Having an emotional or habitual attachment to a particular way of doing things.
  4. Feeling comfortable about where you are.
  5. Fearing change or the consequences of change, like losing face or risking embarrassment or ridicule.
  6. Having intellectual reasons for maintaining the status quo.
  7. Being unaware of information to support the need for change.
  8. Being unconvinced by the necessity for change.
  9. Having blockages or perturbations in their energy fields.
  10. Having a life story that does not leave room for change or evolution.
  11. Being unaware of the rewards that flow from changing.
  12. Not knowing how to harness resources to accomplish change.

What are your roadblocks to emotional, personal and spiritual freedom?  What is the first step in creating positive changes in your life?

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