Why We Resist: The Surprising Truths about Motivating Behavior Change

A Guidebook for Healthcare Communicators, Advocates and Change Agents

We all set healthcare intentions for ourselves. We want to do better. We want to feel better. What holds us back from succeeding? Behavioral science has uncovered a number of fundamental underlying human truths that reveal why people reject healthcare change.

In this book, we teamed up a behavioral scientist and a healthcare communicator to work together to create one clear picture of what we know and how we can apply it in the everyday work of helping more people live healthier lives.

Inside, you'll find nine principles of behavioral science that point to new ways to design communications, interventions and programs to help people make better, more confident decisions about their health. All while building the motivation to try and the resilience to try again when they have a setback along the way.

Each principle comes with tools, examples, and new ideas to help quickly upskill you and your team on how to use what motivates people to unlock real change.

Meet the Authors

Kathleen R. Starr, Ph. D.

Kathleen R. Starr, Ph. D.

Kathleen is one of the great teachers of our industry. She has been a professor, a clinician, a business leader, and now a leading voice for how behavioral science can fuel more powerful, effective healthcare communications and education. Kathleen has developed behavioral interventions with some of the leading brands in healthcare and is working to innovate omnichannel communication programs leveraging behavioral segmentation. She’s learned about people 1:1 as a practicing psychologist and now scales that knowledge through research and ethnography programs that seek to understand the everyday challenges, barriers, and joys of life and health.

Leigh Householder

Leigh Householder

Leigh began her career creating digital, social and loyalty strategies for Fortune 1000 brands. Ten years ago, she made the move to healthcare and never looked back. Leigh was a strategic lead on one of medicine’s biggest launches and has been an important partner to brands working to improve the lives of people fighting both chronic and acute diseases. Today, she invests a lot of her time interviewing and engaging people who work on the frontlines of healthcare around the world to both understand and prioritize the shifts changing the industry and the world.

Book Events

No Events Found
See what people are saying...

"Enjoyable, thoughtful and relevant - an unusual trifecta!"

Having read more than my fair share of books on changing behavior in healthcare, particularly among patients, this book really struck a chord. The content is accessible, understandable and easily applicable to various business challenges - because isn't everything, at the end of the day, about behavior in some form or another? Highly recommend this read for a variety of professionals - from healthcare providers to organizational consultants to healthcare executives.

"A comprehensive toolbox of resources to understand and manage behavior change in healthcare"

Why We Resist if filled with amazing insights and ideas to help us better understand why positive behavior change in healthcare can be so elusive. Unlike other books that have addressed this subject, this book has specific and actionable tactics to help create and sustain the changes we desire. It reads like a narrative, a workbook and a reference guide, all in one. Anyone interested in the healthcare business will want to add Why We Resist to their reading library.

"Simple, smart, and a must-read for anyone in healthcare"

Leigh and Kathleen make a great pair-combining the deep expertise of a PhD behavioral scientist with the storytelling prowess of a career communicator really works here. The insightful principles and practical worksheets/exercises make this both a good read and a useful tool for rethinking your work or your task-at-hand. Bravo!


Read more reviews on Amazon.
All proceeds from this book will be donated to The STARR Coalition, a nonprofit organization working to bring together thought leaders within clinical research, pharma and advocacy.