Explore Motivational Interviewing with Jeff Allison

Contact: jeff@jeffallison.co.uk


‘Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative conversation to strengthen a person’s own motivation for and commitment to change.’

Miller & Rollnick (2013) Third Edition ‘Motivational Interviewing Helping People Change’ Guilford Press: New York


The practice of motivational interviewing (MI) during the last thirty years, in essence, has been an ongoing exploration of a particular question; how does conversation influence behaviour? The answer is largely self-evident yet, at the same time, somewhat puzzling. There is still much to be revealed about the processes governing change, but enough is known to guide practitioners in achieving improved outcomes. MI is really nothing more than a restatement of the blindingly obvious, but rather like football, the simplicity of the rules belies the complexity of getting goals.


I specialise in helping practitioners become more proficient in managing challenging conversations, where issues of behaviour change are centre stage, using motivational interviewing as the reference style. My current contract is with NHS Education for Scotland.

I’ve been a trainer for more than twenty-five years. My experience extends across diverse fields, countries, and cultures, and from brief seminars to comprehensive week-long workshops. I’ve provided training and practice development coaching for more than 300 commissioning organisations in 18 countries, in the fields of healthcare, addictions treatment, criminal justice, social care, employment guidance and academic research.

I’ve worked with co-trainers in India, South Africa, Iran and Canada, and throughout Europe and Scandinavia. I’ve co-led training events for the European Commission and for the UNODC.  For a decade I was a visiting lecturer to Nord University (Norway) and to Glasgow University. For the five years preceding the pandemic I was a member of a team sponsored by the EU – The Penitentiary and Probation Support Project – working with the Georgian Ministry of Justice in Tbilisi. This was a tiny cog in Georgia’s preparations for EU candidacy.

Before working as a trainer, I was a social worker in several addiction services and an addiction specialist in the West Yorkshire Probation Service. I live in Edinburgh.


In football everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.

Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher