Communication Matters

Editor · January 18, 2021

Course overview

Communication Matters is an online course for health professionals designed to provide practical knowledge and communication skills to enhance the practitioner-patient relationship.

The Communication Matters course is tailored to GPs and medical specialists, allied health professionals, researchers, educators, health executives and health service delivery personnel.

Upon successful completion, participants will be awarded a certificate of completion for CPD purposes.

Read all about the course, the topics and presenters here.

Who is this course for?

  • Medical and allied health practitioners interested in developing growth-promoting relationships with their patients.
  • Health professionals enrolled in the ASLM Fellowship. This course will earn candidates 30 points towards the Fellowship.

How long will this course take

The course comprises around five lecture hours of practical CPD-style education.

In addition to the lecture hours, you will need to allow additional time for self-study including required and optional reading, participation and assessment tasks.  We recommend that you allow 2 hours of self-study time for each 1 hour of lectures.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of practitioner self-care as the foundation for effective patient engagement
  2. Demonstrate how healthcare practitioners can communicate effectively and appropriately to provide quality care
  3. Demonstrate how to promote health and wellbeing and empower patients through effective health education
  4. Apply the principles of relationship, patient communication, empathy and rapport

Course modules:

Provider self-care

  • Importance of self-care

Patient engagement and education

  • Patient-provider relationship
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Using subject matter expertise
  • Problem-solving vs appreciative inquiry
  • Inquiry styles
  • Reflections, empathy, listening
  • Building positivity
  • Therapeutic alliance and resistance

Understanding motivation

  • Vision for health
  • Values and needs
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Building efficacy
  • Decisional balance – addressing ambivalence

Ninja techniques

  • Drawing visual maps
  • Scaling ruler questions
  • Nudging
  • Quick Intervention for Change (QIC)

Additional tips and tricks

  • Walking consultations
  • Pre-contemplation to contemplation
  • Tell me what to do – how to respond when your client asks you to tell them what to do
  • Why silence is useful


  • 3 years access to the course
  • Access to our Education Manager for course questions
  • Around 5 hours of recorded lectures
  • Required and recommended reading
  • Participation and assessment tasks
  • Comprehensive reference lists
  • Course group for peer support and networking (coming soon)
  • Certificate of completion for CPD purposes


For enquiries related to this or any other ASLM course, please contact ASLM’s Education Team at or call +61 3 7020 6996.

Other ASLM courses and workshops

ASLM hosts a variety of in-person and online courses and workshops across Australia and New Zealand throughout the year. Designed to increase participants’ understanding of the theory and application of Lifestyle Medicine, they can be undertaken as individual sessions to support professional development or to contribute towards ASLM Fellowship points.


0. Introduction

Top tips to deal with challenging situations: Doctor-patient interactions (Hardavella et al., 2017)

1. Provider self-care

The three keys to change (Deutschman, 2007)

2. Patient engagement & education

Building rapport (

How to make instant connections: Building rapport is more than just small talk (Robbins)

On the importance of nonverbal communication in the physician-patient interaction (Schmid Mast, 2007)

How to (NOT) give advice (Artesani Blanks, 2017)

What is the best way to give advice? New research examines the best way to give people advice (Markman, 2010)

Embedding a strengths based approach in client conversations (Kate Pascale and Associates Pty Ltd, 2018)

Patient-centered communication: Basic skills (Hashim, 2017)

Become a better listener: Active listening (Grohol, 2016)

Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience (Cohn et al., 2009)

How can doctors improve their communication skills? (Ranjan et al., 2015)

3. Understanding motivation

How to apply appreciative inquiry: A visual guide (Tocino-Smith, 2020)

The relationship in motivational interviewing (Moyers, 2014)

Self-determination theory of motivation: Why intrinsic motivation matters (Ackerman, 2020)

4. Ninja techniques

Creating citizen choice architects. Behavioral Scientist. (Hertwig & Reijula, 2020)

The effectiveness of nudges in improving the self-management of patients with chronic diseases: A systematic literature review (Möllenkamp et al., 2019)

MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy (Dolan et al., 2010)

About Instructor


'Editor' is a reclusive bookworm, rarely seen in real life, but always reading the latest research and current affairs, writing blog posts and feature articles to bring you the most interesting content. Editor doesn't have any other interests (other than Lifestyle Medicine), but always starts the day with a coffee, usually a long black.

2 Courses

+49 enrolled
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Special launch pricing $275-$330

Course Includes

  • 21 Modules
  • 40 Topics
  • 14 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate