Ep 34 – MI from an Evolutionary Perspective

Ep. 34 – MI from an Evolutionary Perspective

Dr Abilio (Bill) de Almeida Neto joined Glenn and Sebastian for this unique conversation about possible underlying evolutionary mechanisms of MI. Bill Evolutionary is a registered psychologist in Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours from the University of New South Wales and a PhD in psychology from the University of Sydney in the area of behaviour modification for which he was awarded a university medal. Professionally, he has applied behaviour modification techniques to a wide range of areas, including alcohol and other drugs, smoking cessation, correctional rehabilitation, quality use of medicines, and work health and safety. His primary scientific interest is in mechanisms of behaviour change that account for psychotherapeutic effects. He has been guest speaker at a number of international conferences and has published extensively in scientific journals.

0:00 – Opening/introduction

4:00 – Bill’s introduction: “A long MI journey”

9:50 – Seeking a theory of MI to understand underlying mechanisms

20:38 – Why does telling people to change typically not work?

30:30 – “Our brains don’t know it’s the 21st century”

33:25 – Social hierarchy in MI conversations: Counselors taking the “lower                             place”

46:45 – Oppositional behavior as adaptive

53:24 – “It takes two to resist”

1:00:20 – The Rogerian influence on MI through an evolutionary lens

1:11:20 – MI helps deactivate unconscious mechanisms that hinder behavior change

1:19:45 – Understanding impact on clinicians

1:22:59 – End of recording

Links and contact information:


  • Twitter: @billneto4
  • Citation for paper: de Almeida Neto, A. C. (2017). Understanding Motivational Interviewing: an Evolutionary Perspective. Evolutionary Psychological Science, DOI 10.1007/s40806-017-0096-6

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Email: podcast@glennhinds.com


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