The resources listed on this page accompany the book,
What I Need From You: the essential guide to reaching troubled teens, by Sam Ross.

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The Motivational Interviewing Approach

The Motivational Interviewing Approach is an incredibly powerful way of communicating with young people who are resistant to the idea of changing their behaviour. Master the method and I guarantee you, you will start to see some amazing results in your work, even with the teens that everyone else has declared as a hopeless cause. If you have the right tools and the right methods, the potential for successfully reaching out to every teen exponentially increases. Below is some recommended further reading to get you started.


Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents and Young People

This is an extremely accessible and engaging book that is very practice-oriented and geared directly towards working with adolescents. It shows a wide range of applications for the method, with excellent strategies and phrases to employ. While I make many free recommendations below, if you really want to understand the Motivational Interviewing method and how to practically apply it in your work with teens, buying a copy of this book is highly recommended. Amazon has ‘Look Inside’ so you can take a look without purchase.


Motivating Offenders to Change: A Guide for Probation and Parole

Although written for the criminal justice setting, this free guide is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in the Motivational Interviewing method. It provides clear explanations of all aspects of the Stages of Change model and has many useful strategies for overcoming resistance to change. With many realistically scripted scenarios, the method comes alive and you can easily see how the theory can become your practice.

This free guide in conjunction with the above book for adolescents, ‘Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents and Young People’ {link to above}, makes for an excellent combination that will if followed dramatically improve your ability to help teens enact change in their lives.


Motivational Interviewing website

This website has many valuable resources and also an 8 minute video on the background to Motivational Interviewing. Definitely worth a look.


‘Techniques for the different stages of change’ handout

This short handout offers valuable guidance on the strategies and techniques to use with clients in each of the stages of change.


‘Applying the Stages of Change’ Journal Article

A useful freely downloadable journal article from the ‘Psychotherapy in Australia’ journal. Explains the stages of change model before making eleven practice recommendations that are focused around the need to assess the stage of a client’s readiness for change and to tailor interventions accordingly. Guidance is given on how to avoid
mismatching stages and processes.