Motivational interviewing is a well-known communication method used in conversations. It is important within this conversation that the client or patient knows how to convince theirselves to change. To achieve this, the focus is mainly on what is stopping the patient or client. And also what the reasons are to change.

To be able to experience this and to be able to practice with it, the VR project Motivational Interviewing has been started. Together with HAN, RadboudUMC and E-Infuse, we have drawn up and elaborated three scenarios.

  • Joyce is overweight but often feels too tired to do something about it because of broken nights.
  • Paul has osteoarthritis in his knee and has to exercise more, but he can’t find the right motivation.
  • Anna wants to quit smoking but has lost a bit of confidence in herself after all the failed attempts.

Training’s structure

Anyone familiar with the method of Motivational Interviewing will agree that it is an extensive theory. It is quite difficult to immediately have an entire conversation following this method. That is why we have chosen to build up the cases calmly and to work them out in two parts.

In the first part of the training, you will get started with the basic techniques of Motivational Interviewing. This phase includes the elements: Asking Open Questions, Reflective Listening, Confirming, and Supporting and Summarizing.

You will then have the opportunity to apply the above techniques in a real conversation with Anna, Joyce or Paul in which you go through the different phases of Motivational Interviewing, namely: Connecting, Focusing, Evoking and Planning.

After completing the training, you will feel a lot more confident using Motivational Interviewing.

Ups and downs

The great thing about our training sessions is that it’s okay if you make mistakes. After all, you can learn from your mistakes. In the video below you can see a player who is talking to Anna. In his first conversation, he does not use conversation techniques. Then the player receives feedback on what he can do better. On his second attempt, he does use conversation techniques. You will notice that the chance increases that Anna will stop smoking.


The VR application is an application of the IVA platform developed by The Simulation Crew. Speech recognition is used for this platform. The choice to work with open (free) speech input arose from the desire to create as natural a conversational situation as possible. This way works without the limitations of multiple-choice communication. After all, in this, the suggestion is already given away, something that is not there in reality. In reality, you will have to find your words and deal with the situation on your initiative. In addition to verbal communication, non-verbal communication is also included, such as eye contact, body posture, and voice intonation. A web-based dashboard provides insight into the participants’ progress and results.

Interested? Contact us!