Merging Motivational and Skills Training Strategies for Health Behavior Change

Skills - Sponsored by Creighton University

Robert Swoap presents session to help people make and maintain health behavior change

Robert A. Swoap, PhD

Professor of Psychology, Warren Wilson College

AAOHN 1.08 | AAFP 1.0 | ACSM 1.0 | CDR 1.0 | NCHEC 1.0

When faced with the challenges of helping others make and maintain health behavior changes, how might we optimally blend motivation and skills training opportunities? How do we best motivate our patients, our employees, ourselves? And once we have found the motivation, what are key skills that need to be learned, developed, and implemented in order to maintain health changes? In this session, we will examine and combine three tactics drawn from psychological research: “getting out of your own head,” mental contrasting & implementation intentions, and mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral approaches. We will highlight individuals who achieve behavior change goals consistently and how they blend these strategies. Finally, we will play with ways to apply.

Presenter Bio(s):

Dr. Robert Swoap is Professor of Psychology at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, where he teaches and conducts research in health psychology. Swoap has investigated among other areas the relationship between stress, hostility, and cardiac events; the impact of brief exercise bouts on children and college students in the classroom; and the effects of mindfulness-based practices on psychological and physical health of college students. Swoap advises the campus wellness and health promotion program. In addition to his academic duties, Swoap is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with medical populations in a health care setting. He also conducts sport psychology interventions and workshops with athletes, teams, coaches, and sports medicine personnel. Swoap writes about sport psychology, behavior change, and the pursuit of excellence on his blog at