Motivational Interviewing: A brief overview
What is motivational interviewing?
According to Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D., & William R. Miller, Ph.D., (1995) motivational interviewing
(MI) is ” A directive, client-centred counselling style for eliciting behaviour change by helping
clients to explore and resolve ambivalence”.
So, what does that mean?
In motivational interviewing, the examination and resolution of the internal conflict between two
courses of action (ambivalence) is the central purpose, and the counsellor deliberately does this
to achieve the goal.
What is the therapist’s role?
1- Aim to understand the individual’s internal frame of mind by using reflective listening or acute
empathy therapy popularised by Rogers in the year 1951.
2- Receiving acceptance and affirmations from the individual.
3- Evoking the individual and then reinforcing his/her self motivation. The aim is to recognise the
individual’s problems, understanding their desire and intentions for change and finally the actual
effort put by them to achieve these changes.
4- Monitoring the client's eagerness to change and the degree of such readiness.
5- Constantly affirmation of the client’s person choices and interests.
How does MI differ from other models of therapy?
When we compare motivational interviewing with completely nondirective models of counselling,
it will be seen that it is a more focused and goal-directed application.
According to Burke, Arkowitz and Menchola in the Journal of Counselling and Clinical Psychology
(2003, Vol. 71, No. 5, 843–861), in clinical trials Motivational Interviewing (MI) has shown
improvements in the client base of between 51% and 56% in both substance use reduction and
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