Brief Health Counselling (BHC) is a research-based approach to talking with clients about lifestyle behaviours.
BHC uses short discussions (3 - 5 minutes) focusing on behavior change. The goal is to tailor an intervention to a client’s current stage of readiness for change.
BHC can address:
Depending on the topic area or field (tobacco use, alcohol, etc.) Brief Health Counselling has several different names/acronyms:
SBIR (Alcohol): Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral
BI/MCI: (Tobacco): Brief Intervention / Minimal Contact Intervention (RNAO)
Brief Counselling (PTCC)
Brief Advise (YCMIH)
Canadian Smoking cessation Clinical Practice Guideline - Overview of Summary Statements and Complete
All of these apply to the same framework or technique of short, customized interviews or interventions.
Be advised that changing lifestyle behaviour can be difficult or lengthy and often does not happen as a result of a single intervention. BHC relies on consistent and individualized feedback to clients from a variety of sources.
Be aware that BHC is not for everyone.
If the client is consuming alcohol above the low-risk drinking guidelines and is alcohol dependent, please refer your client to more specialized community support services.
A framework for understanding the phases of readiness