Course Overview

This course will go into depth on the importance of the evoking process in Motivational Interviewing. We introduce the acronym DARN-CATS and define those seven kinds of change talk in MI. We list and apply the six strategies for evoking change talk when it is not plentiful in the client's responses. This course consists of both written and audible client speech and we give you the opportunity to test your knowledge in coming up with the appropriate responses that will evoke change talk in the client.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Credit Hours: MCBAP-R (0.0), MCBAP-S (1.0), Mi-CEC pending - under review, Nursing (0.0)
This module has been designed to conform to the WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards.

Topics Covered


We review the Motivational Interviewing effort of recognizing and eliciting change talk statement from the client. These statements are anything they say (negative or positive) that indicate a desire, an ability, a reason, or a need for change. We provide an opportunity to test your understanding of change talk from the previous module.


Discrepancy is the difference between the present state, how things are, and the desired state, how we would like things to be. Developing Discrepancy is when we shift the focus of the conversation when there is little or no change talk, to evoke any difference between the status-quo and the way the client would like things to be. When we are effectively helping the client develop discrepancy we are, in effect, confronting them with their own values, and inviting them to talk about their values in a way that helps them to see a difference between their current and desired behaviors.  

Hidden Discrepancy

When we don't hear change talk, it can help to assume that there is a hidden discrepancy in their statements. It is important to avoid our Righting Reflex to tell the client to change when they are not expressing a desire to change. Developing Discrepancy is more effective if it is a collaboration with the client to explore their thinking. We provide examples of how a staff person can allow the client to find their own reason for change talk.

Rules and Techniques For Developing Discrepancy

Our goal is to evoke the “Just Right” amount of discrepancy in our client. Too much discrepancy is likely to be demotivating to the client, and if there is not enough discrepancy then the importance goes down.  We discuss six different techniques in detail that facilitate someones thinking about any discrepancy they fee, without using resistance triggering a confrontation. Provided are practice scenarios where you select the Developing Discrepancy strategy that would have been most likely to have encouraged different types of client statements.

Additional Considerations

Please Note : As part of our content licensing agreement, these Motivational Interviewing courses are intended only for those practicing or providing services in Michigan, and only provide CEUs valid to Michigan providers. By enrolling in these courses you certify that you meet this criteria.

Course Objectives

  1. Review and Practice Identifying Change Talk (DARN-C).
  2. Learn the MI strategy of "Developing Discrepancy.” 

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