Recognising Change Talk

Communication is something that I am becoming more and more interested in and am focusing on within my everyday life and also within my work as an osteopath, lecturer and corporate consultant.  Many of the clients that I am dealing with in a clinical environment (Principle Four Osteopathy), teaching (Victoria University) and corporate consulting (Corporate Work Health Australia) are often communicating about change within some aspect of their life (often focused around health and wellbeing).  Since completing my Level 1/2 Wellness Coaching Course (Wellness Coaching Australia) and 2 day Motivational Interviewing course with Helen Mentha (Mentha Consulting) I have been focused on listening much more when working with clients to identify if there is change talk or sustain talk going on.  So what is sustain talk?  Sustain talk is often focused on conversation that identifies obstacles to change or defending current behaviours.  Change talk on the other hand involves talk that includes advantages of change, disadvantages of the current behaviour and optimism or intention to change.  As allied health practitioners it is important to be aware of this as clients using change talk should be supported in this process of change.  For those clients we deal with who are using sustain talk, we need to be very mindful of how we communicate with them so to not reinforce sustain talk if it is a topic of conversation that is not helping their health and wellbeing.  Instead we can look to change our style of communication to focus more on the positives of change through questions and reflecting the client to give them a gentle nudge towards change talk.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy. Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading Osteopathy clinics. At the clinic we treat a wide range of clients, ranging from the office worker, exercise enthusiast to athlete. We have 3 experienced osteopaths working across both of the clinics. The Melbourne City CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place (basement), close to the corner of Elizabeth St and Little Bourke in the Melbourne City CBD. Our premises adjoin the Jon Weller Personal Training Studio, a fully-equipped training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials or specific training programs and rehabilitation. The Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St (Ground Floor), beneath the Channel 9 building near the walkway from Southern Cross Train Station to Etihad Stadium. Our premises adjoin Pilates on Bourke, a fully-equipped pilates and yoga training space which allows clients to combine their osteopathy treatment with exercise tutorials, pilates or specific training programs and rehabilitation. To speak to an Osteopath or book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy, please book online or call 03 9670 9290.