Thursday, 18 December 2014

Motivational Interviewing (MI)


                                   Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, directive approach created by William R. Miller (1947-), applied initially during 18 sessions, to help clients who misused alcohol (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).

Currently, this method is used in several mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and addictions, in early stages of the treatment in order to encourage client's motivation for change, to reduce client's ambivalence and resistance (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).

This method is a collaborative relationship between client and therapist which requires a warm and empathic therapeutic relationship, as well as goals setting, reflective listening, open questions, summarizing and affirmation skills (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).

Four principles of MI:

  1. Express Empathy: Using reflective listening, the therapist demonstrates caring for the client (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).
  2. Develop Discrepancy: Helping the client to see both, desired goals (ideal self) and present behavior (real self) by asking open-ended key questions (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).
  3. Reduce client's resistance: By allowing the expression of the client's ambivalence, instead of utilizing confrontation or persuasion. The therapist helps the client to explore ambivalence about their reasons for concern and reasons for change (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).
  4. Support Self-eficacy: Improve client's self-confidence, hope and ability to change, by utilizing “affirmation” (or Carl Roger's positive regard), highlighting client's strengths, but leaving solutions and decisions to the client (Prochaska & Norcross, 2014).

Mrs Glaucia Barbosa,
PACFA Reg. Provisional 25212 
MCouns, MQCA(Clinical)  

ABN: 19 476 932 954

Prochaska, J. O, Norcross, J. C. (2014). Systems of psychotherapy: A transtheoretical analysis. Belmont, CA:

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