Motivational Interviewing

A man sits with hand clasped in from of a therapist

Introduced in the 1980s, Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a highly effective, evidence-based therapy approach to behavior change. Goal-directed and client-centered, this therapy approach is based in collaboration between the client and therapist, both working together toward positive change.

This therapy approach encourages self-reflection and uses a strengths-based perspective. Working with a therapist can help you to gain insight into how you can move forward and make the necessary changes to help meet your goals. Using a collaborative approach, Motivational Interviewing supports autonomy within the therapist and client team as they delve into specific goals.

How it works

Empowering Change: Motivational Interviewing 

Research reveals positive results for individuals who are trying to make lifestyle and behavior changes using Motivational Interviewing. This practice is used to help individuals throughout substance abuse counseling, problem gambling treatment, and mental health counseling

Motivational Interviewing can help you to:

  • Explore hesitation or doubt about behavior changes regarding alcohol and other substance use
  • Decrease problematic gambling
  • Reduce or refrain from acts of self-injury and other unhelpful or problematic behaviors

Guiding people to address personal issues and behaviors that impact their mental health empowers them to make lasting change. 

Goals of Motivational Interviewing 

Motivational Interviewing helps individuals change behaviors by strengthening their coping skills and ability to take steps toward their goals.

Key Therapeutic Elements of Motivational Interviewing

When therapists utilize Motivational Interviewing, some of their client-centered goals are to:

  • Establish rapport and listen reflectively
  • Ask open questions to explore motives, reasons, and desire for change
  • Affirm change-related statements and efforts
  • Assist with identifying reasons not to change while also reviewing reasons in favor of change
  • Elicit recognition of the gap between current behavior and desired life goals
  • Ask permission before giving information, suggestions, or advice
  • Respond to resistance without direct confrontation
  • Encourage self-efficacy for change
  • Develop an action plan to which the individual is willing to commit

Benefits of the Motivational Interviewing Therapy Approach

There are several benefits that you can gain from working with a therapist who uses Motivational Interviewing. For example, they can: 

  • Facilitate exploration of the conflict that can exist between your behavior and your goals
  • Help you to stop your unhealthy behavior along with building upon your strengths to find new behaviors that are healthy and helpful
  • Assist you to identify your strengths, goals, and values 
  • Facilitate your identification of your personal reasons, skills, and strategies for change 
  • Help you tap into your innate ability to make healthy lifestyle and behavior choices 
  • Enhance and build your commitment to change
  • Identify that there is no single correct way to change
  • Guide you to make commitments to new actions you can try that you believe will be helpful
  • Help you in empowering yourself to be responsible for your own behaviors and the results of your choices 

Fostering Personal Empowerment through Self-Awareness

Motivational Interviewing can help empower you by increasing your self-awareness. Awareness of our behaviors and motivations empowers us to make better, more informed decisions and to support and maintain overall mental health. This treatment process is unique to each individual.

Health and Healing Therapy’s counselors use Motivational Interviewing during individual therapy, couples counseling, family therapy, and group counseling sessions. Schedule a call to get started.

Meet our Therapists

A quiet office with two round teal chairs.

Lasting change is possible.

You don’t have to suffer alone. Our therapists can help you Grow, Heal, and Thrive.