Motivational interviewing (MI) refers to a counseling approach in part developed by clinical psychologists Professor William R Miller, Ph.D. and Professor Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D. Motivational Interviewing is a method that works on facilitating and engaging intrinsic motivation within the client in order to change behavior. MI is a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. Compared with non-directive counseling, it's more focused and goal-directed. It departs from traditional Rogerian client-centered therapy through this use of direction, in which therapists attempt to influence clients to consider making changes, rather than non-directively explore themselves. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is a central purpose, and the counselor is intentionally directive in pursuing this goal.
A few key points in MI (also via Wikipedia):
- Motivation to change is elicited from the client, and is not imposed from outside forces.
- It is the client's task, not the counselor's, to articulate and resolve the client's ambivalence.
- Direct persuasion is not an effective method for resolving ambivalence.
- The counseling style is generally quiet and elicits information from the client.
- The counselor is directive, in that they help the client to examine and resolve ambivalence.
- Readiness to change is not a trait of the client, but a fluctuating result of interpersonal interaction.
- The therapeutic relationship resembles a partnership or companionship.
Here's MI summed up in a 17 minute video:
For more motivational interviewing wisdom from around the web, try:
- Motivational Interviewing as a Counseling Style (NCBI)