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Appendix 4

Readiness to change – motivational interviewing tool

Women may be anywhere along a spectrum of how they feel about their partner or ex-partner. Some may have left the relationship, with or without recognising that their partner’s behaviour was abusive. Other women may continue in relationships that are unhealthy or abusive. It is most likely that fear of their partner will have affected their emotional health, although some will not see that connection.

Example of written tool for motivational interviewing

This is a tool you can use with your patient.

GP: Taking action is often challenging for people. Below is a set of steps for examining your current situation to decide on what action you might like to take and then how motivated and confident you feel at the moment about carrying out that action.

Ask a woman:

Step 1

What do you like about your relationship or current situation?

Step 2

What are the things you don’t like about your relationship or current situation?

Step 3

[Summarise – GPs understanding of the woman’s pros and cons]

Step 4

Where does this leave you now?

For women who are ready to change to some extent:

Step 5


For Steps 1 and 2, you may like to ask your patient to use the box below to write down her responses.







Action (Specify)


For step 5, women may choose a whole range of actions and we have listed some likely options below:

  • Feel better about themselves e.g. do more exercise, take up yoga
  • Manage finances better
  • Become less isolated e.g. go to social group activity
  • Have better parenting strategies with their children
  • Improve their physical health e.g. cut down on alcohol
  • Leave their partner
  • Get more understanding/affection from their partner
  • Get their partner to go to anger management classes
  • Get their partner to stop drinking/get a job/stop gambling.

These last three are obviously out of the woman’s control as it involves influencing their partner’s behaviour. Acknowledging this difficulty is important.

Next, you may ask your patient how motivated they are to carry out the actions they have suggested and what they feel they need in order to carry them out.

How motivated do you feel to carry out …………..?

You can ask your patient to place an X on the point on the line that most closely reflects how you feel. 

Motivation slider

What would have to happen for your motivation score to increase?

How confident do you feel that you would succeed in carrying out…?

Place an X on the point on the line that most closely reflects how you feel. 

Appendix 4 confidence slider

How can I help to increase your confidence?