Social work professor becomes published author of self-help book during quarantine


Angela Wood, Ph.D.

A professor at the university is now the published author of a self-help book.

Assistant Professor of Social Work Angela Wood, Ph.D, is the author of  “The Motivational Interviewing Workbook: Exercises to Decide What You Want and How to Get There.” The book’s paper-back version was released on Oct. 20.

According to Wood, the book is for anyone who is struggling to make a lifestyle change.

“Making a decision to change entails more than just saying, ‘I want to make a change, and it’s more than just saying, ‘Now what do I do?’” described Wood. “Oftentimes, it’s not that simple. Some changes aren’t fun to make, and that’s usually the biggest thing. A lot of it is motivation — recognizing that they need to make a change, and the next piece is establishing the importance of making that change.”

Wood’s writing-process began in February of this year, when she was contacted by the publishing company Callisto Media.

“They use logarithms to collect data from the internet somehow, and the word ‘motivational interviewing’ kept coming up,” shared Wood. “They created an outline, and then they looked for an author to write it. I’m assuming they looked up some different websites that have motivational interviewing in it, and I have a website that is for my business where I do motivational interviewing training and consultation for healthcare and human service type providers.”

Wood had to meet monthly chapter deadlines, and by mid-April, the book was complete. All that was left to do was format and design, both done by Callisto.

According to Wood, the goal of motivational interviewing is to guide the client toward making the best decision for themselves, rather than making the decision for them.

“It’s not education — it’s about making it important and thinking you can make those changes,” described Wood. “Coming from a counseling approach really is about working where the client is and helping them determine why it is important and why they want to make that change. It doesn’t have to be the way that I would do it. It needs to be the way they feel like they need to do it.”

The workbook also offers 110 exercises to help readers reach their goals — the formulation of them, according to Wood, was the hardest part of the book-writing process.

Chapters in the book cover various aspects of the motivational interviewing process.

“The first chapter is sort of the introduction to the book with no exercises in it, then the second chapter looks at what you might want to change, so I have people explore different things they might be concerned about, what goals they might have, kind of weighing the pros and cons of working on those different issues and barriers that they might face,” explained Wood.

Wood says that the second half of the workbook is dedicated to helping the reader take action toward making their desired change.

“The third chapter is looking a little bit more at why you would want to make the change, and understanding how your value system plays a part in how important that change is to you, and just looking at some confidence,” described Wood. “We need to strengthen our confidence that we are able to make that change, and the fourth part is about how to make that change.”

“The Motivational Interviewing Workbook: Exercises to Decide What You Want and How to Get There” can be found exclusively on Amazon.