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FTUIY Episode #68: Casey Jackson

Written By: Dr. Jaime G. Raygoza

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based communication method designed to facilitate behavior change. On a recent episode of the Finding the Unicorn in You podcast, host Dr. Jaime Raygoza interviewed Casey Jackson, an international expert on MI.

Origins of Motivational Interviewing

As Jackson explained, MI emerged in the addiction and substance use field as a new way of interacting with people that generated better outcomes. Rather than following the traditional medical model, MI takes a person-centered approach to help individuals get clear on their values and work through internal ambivalence.

Core Principles and Impact

Some key principles of MI include moving professionals out of the "expert" role and into a facilitative, collaborative style of communication. The focus is on empowering the individual to embrace their own values and make changes aligned with their goals.

Jackson shared examples of how MI has profoundly impacted his personal life by helping align his behaviors with his values. He also discussed an organization that uses MI in their work coordinating organ donation. The empathy-based communication style has completely transformed their interactions and outcomes.

Trauma-Informed MI

Jackson has further developed MI into a trauma-informed practice. By landing deeper reflections, professionals can identify trauma-related struggles and use language to gently help the brain think in new, restorative ways. This creates a linguistics approach to working with trauma.

Jackson emphasized that MI is not a quick fix but takes ongoing practice. The key is seeking first to understand by putting aside your own perspective to truly hear the other's worldview and values. This facilitates creating change from within.

Unicorn Lesson

There were various lessons we can take from Casey. However, the one Unicorn lesson that stood out the most was, "The clearer you get on what your core values are, that is the start to finding the inner unicorn in you". You need to understand your why and what motivates you to do what you do. You need to define true values and the superficial ones we are used to. Dig in deep and do the inner work so you can start tapping into the Unicorn that we all know you can be.


MI offers transformative potential for improving communication, and relationships, and the ability to overcome ambivalence. To learn more about harnessing the power of this approach, listen to the full interview with expert Casey Jackson.

Find the full episode of the Finding the Unicorn in You Podcast on Spotify, YouTube, and all major podcast platforms

Connect with Casey directly on LinkedIn:

Hop on a call to request training:

Connect with the Institute for Individual and Organizational Change (IFIOC) online:

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