Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a goal-directed, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavioral change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. The operational assumption in MI is that ambivalent attitudes or lack of resolve is the primary obstacle to behavioral change, so that the examination and resolution of ambivalence becomes its key goal.

MI has been applied to a wide range of problem behaviors related to alcohol and substance abuse as well as health promotion, medical treatment adherence, and mental health issues. Although many variations in technique exist, the MI counseling style generally includes the following elements:

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Establishing rapport with the client and listening reflectively.

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Asking open-ended questions to explore the client's own motivations for change.

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Affirming the client's change-related statements and efforts.

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Eliciting recognition of the gap between current behavior and desired life goals.

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Asking permission before providing information or advice.

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Responding to resistance without direct confrontation. (Resistance is used as a feedback signal to the therapist to adjust the approach.)

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Encouraging the client's self-efficacy for change.

ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Developing an action plan to which the client is willing to commit.