Lars Forsberg´s research group

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Quality assurance of psychotherapy - MIC lab

A common way of looking at motivation is that it either exists or not, almost as a stable characteristic of the patient in question. Such viewing easily makes the therapist passive and frustrated when he cannot find evidence of motivation in his patient. Patients' motivation can be affected, not least because of the interaction with the therapist. Resistance in the patient is rather a reaction to the interviewer's behavior than a characteristic of the patient.

In motivational interviewing, resistance from the patient is used as a marker of poor prognosis to reach the goal and a serious signal that it is time for the therapist to change strategy to achieve his goals with the patient. The efficacy of motivational interviewing remains with the patient without diminishing over time, as commonly observed.

MIC lab

Research Projects

  • MITI manual – reliability and validity. Measuring MI and conversation variables affecting client behavior, operationalization of variables in MI
  • Implementation – MI-learning. How do we learn from MI and how do we teach MI. MI-learning and effects of different types of feed-back of conversations, e g. self-evaluation, supervisor evaluation
  • Treatment research on MI – MI is telephone MI, MI during imprisonment, internet MI, MI at parental visits within children’s health care
  • Process research on MI – What verbal client variables are related to the change in behavior of the client? The client’s verbal conversations have been operationalized through the CLAMI manual
  • Unspecific therapist variables
  • MI and work-related stress
  • Conversation to reach Effective environmental inspection

Selected publications

Motivational Interviewing delivered by existing prison staff: a randomized controlled study of effectiveness on substance use after release.
Forsberg L, Ernst D, Sundqvist K, Farbring C
Subst Use Misuse 2011 ;46(12):1477-85

Learning motivational interviewing in a real-life setting: a randomised controlled trial in the Swedish Prison Service.
Forsberg L, Ernst D, Farbring C
Crim Behav Ment Health 2011 Jul;21(3):177-88


Clinician acquisition and retention of Motivational Interviewing skills: a two-and-a-half-year exploratory study.
Forsberg L, Forsberg L, Lindqvist H, Helgason A
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2010 May;5():8

Motivational interviewing versus cognitive behavioral group therapy in the treatment of problem and pathological gambling: a randomized controlled trial.
Carlbring P, Jonsson J, Josephson H, Forsberg L
Cogn Behav Ther 2010 ;39(2):92-103

Group members