Decisional Balance

WordPress wants to correct “Decisional” to “Delusional,” and that’s pretty funny. Decisional balance is ambivalence jiu-jitsu. Again, from Motivational Interviewing, when a client is struggling to resolve ambivalence and you’ve reflected and summarized and done your Fiddler on the Roof routine

there is Decisional Balance.


it’s time to walk the client through the 2×2, starting with No Change X Advantages, then moving through No Change X Disadvantages, Disadvantages X Change, and finally Change X Advantages. The order is important because the last taste in the clients mouth needs to be the sweetness of possibility in the thing they are afraid to do. The balance acknowledges there are reasons to change and reasons to not change, has the advantage of transparency, and allows the client to talk himself into change.

“Has anyone done a decisional balance with you yet?” asked a friend after class today. This woman is so clinical, so curious about other people’s experiences, she puts me to shame and I’m happy to know her.


“Let’s do it. It’ll only take about 15 minutes.”

Fifteen minutes to change your life, or not.

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