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We are gardeners, planting seeds of hope and confidence of change and healthy outcomes for our patients, clients and families.

For many of us these past few weeks, we have been busy planting tiny seeds and small seedlings in our vegetable and flower gardens. We carefully aerate the soil making it soft and fluffy to aid in the seed or seedling to have the best chance of having a good start. Spring is the time for hope and optimum that “this” year will be a year of full harvest and bounty!

After the seeds are planted we carefully water and constantly attend to the garden to make sure the conditions are maximized for growth. We know that both too little water and too much water can devastate our crop. We attend to providing the right conditions for best outcomes.

Isn’t this the same as working with patients, clients and families on behavior change? I find the analogy spot on:

  1. Aerate the soil making the conditions conducive for growth.
    With our patients, we take time and give attention to engage and establish a trusting and respectful relationship and interaction with our patients from the very beginning. Just as in gardening, if we miss or jump past this process of engagement, it is difficult to recreate and difficult to yield a full harvest.
    Keep the engagement process alive and well.
  2. Provide just enough water for maximal growth and refrain from over watering.
    With our patients, we consistently monitor and provide just the right amount of attention. We provide support, information with permission, affirmations, confidence and hope. If we overload with information, push or move them along too fast, we often find hesitation, reluctance and perhaps defensiveness.
    Keep checking in with our patients and find out what is working well in their process.
  3. We wait patiently knowing that growth takes time.
    This may be one of the most challenging parts of working with patients as we know that growth, change, letting go of unhealthy behaviors and adoption of new behaviors takes time. Both we as clinicians and those individuals we are working with, need to be patient and believe that positive and good things will come. We need to believe in the process

Keep hope alive that change and growth will lead to healthy outcomes.

Transform Conversations. Transform Healthcare. Transform Lives.

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“Dr. Lang’s training provided me with a better understanding of the motivational interviewing process. The skills I learned from her training have helped me feel more engaged and thoughtful when listening and talking with those around me. Dr. Lang is energetic, knowledgeable, passionate and provides a great learning environment.”

Nancy AdrianseBSDH, Oral Health Manager, Iowa Primary Care Association

“The training I received in Becky’s motivational interviewing class was invaluable. It laid a wonderful foundation for me to effectively empower my patients to develop and implement positive changes for their health. Becky created such a nurturing, nonthreatening environment that allowed me to freely learn and practice. This is certainly a class I can recommend to anyone wanting to learn to assist others with behavior changes.”

Robin GeorgeRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“At the YMCA, we have worked with Dr. Becky Lang for over a decade now to help us shift and shape our culture. As an organization committed to strengthening our community, the coaching and training skills that Dr. Lang has provided have helped us immensely. With her education and guidance she has helped us establish a culture that focuses on building meaningful relationships with our members, focusing on their needs, and coaching them towards success in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Lang has trained all levels of our staff from our front line Wellness Coaches to our Executive Directors and Leadership Teams. Her on-going support has allowed the coaching-culture to come alive in our organization.”

Kim Stewart Kim Stewart Director of Operations, YMCA of Greater Des Moines

“The training Becky provided has been one of the most rewarding nursing experience I have had in 30 years. The style of interviewing and teaching patients is rewarding and positive. Her techniques drive the sessions to be more personal and patient-centered. Through Becky’s teaching, I was comfortable to practice and get familiar with the motivational interviewing process. Becky is an exceptional trainer and I recommend her training to all health coaches and educators.”

Sandy LovelessRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“The motivational interviewing techniques Becky teaches allow patients to set goals and work toward changes that are important to them. Patients feel in control of their own health and allow me to be in a more supportive roll. Becky has a positive and uplifting spirit that makes her classes extremely enjoyable.”

Tyra CarltonRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“Rebecca Lang was a respected colleague who diligently served as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students over her long career at Grand View University. I had the distinct pleasure to work with Becky and regularly witness her vocation to Wellness education. She motivates those around her by a strong and genuine commitment to a lifestyle which promotes health and well-being.”

Katharina TumpekPhD, Professor and former Chair, Dept. of Health Promotions, Grand View University

“It has been a pleasure to work with Becky Lang over the last 25 years. Within a variety of contexts in the wellness arena, I have witnessed Dr. Lang’s mastery as a wellness educator, a health coach, a professor, and, most recently, as a health coaching trainer. I could go on at length about Dr. Lang’s passion, enthusiasm, high energy, wisdom, and deep knowledge in health promotion and behavior change. One of the attributes that impresses me most, though, is her ability to create a relaxed, fun, interactive, and content-rich training environment. Her refreshingly supportive, inviting, and empathic style of training and coaching allows learners to take risks, experiment, try on new skills, and participate authentically in role play exercises without feeling awkward and intimidated. Through Dr. Lang’s coaching and training, people learn–often more than they imagined.”

Jill NorrisRN, MPH, PCMH-CCE, Director, Care Management, University of Iowa Health Alliance