This is what we seek. When the patient begins to use this language, it signals that we are moving toward behavior change. Change talk can be remembered by the acronym DARN-C.
D = Desire
These statements express that a patient would like to or desires to make a change.
A = Ability
These statements describe the patient’s confidence or ability to make a change.
R = Reasons
These statements describe why the patient should change.
N = Needs
These statements speak to the patient’s need to make a change.
C = Commitment
These are actual statements of commitment (e.g., I will change) or proximal statements (e.g., I may change). The stronger the statement of commitment, the greater the likelihood that the patient will change his or her behavior. Thus, the goal of MI is to skillfully lead the patient toward strong statements of commitment, through recognizing and helping the patient to elaborate, verbalize, and develop his or her desire, ability, reason, and need for change.