Spotlight: Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered, strength-based approach that focuses on meeting people where they are and motivating an individual's intrinsic desire to change. This "Spotlight" issue highlights how four PATH programs utilize Motivational Interviewing to successfully engage and work with consumers.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is “a client centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence” (Miller and Rollnick, 2002). It is a way to help people talk themselves into changing.

MI meets people where they are, regardless of their readiness to change. MI is particularly effective in working with people who are not yet thinking about change or are ambivalent. These are individuals in the precontemplative or contemplative stages according to The Transtheoretical Model, commonly known as the Stages of Change Model (Prochaska and DiClemente, 1984). This model can be a useful construct to determine a person’s stage of readiness to change.

The MI approach is strengths-based. It elicits and respects consumers’ values, wisdom, and motivation to change, rather than attempting to convince consumers to follow a particular prescribed course of action. Unlike many approaches that tend to increase client resistance, MI is effective in decreasing resistance and thus enhancing a person’s willingness to change. (Authors)

Publication Date: 
Rockville, MD, USA