Motivational Interviewing (MI)

What is MI?

MI is an evidence based treatment that helps people become more motivated to make changes in their daily lives. It can also help people improve their ability to take action on their plans to change. MI is often used to address health behaviors, such as alcohol abuse, quitting smoking, and improving diet or exercise. It can also be used to help people with making decisions about healthy relationships or the next steps in their career. Anytime someone is feeling uncertain, stuck, or worried when facing a choice or a change, MI tools can be utilized to help.

What happens during MI?

Trauma often changes how people view The therapist will talk with the client about the change that the client is considering and help explore their reasons for wanting to change. The therapist will help the client focus on their reasons for wanting to make a change and openly discuss the mixed feelings that are a normal part of making changes.
The role of the therapist in MI is more about listening than providing direct guidance or advice. The therapist asks questions about the reasons for wanting to make changes and about how the client will work towards those changes. Motivational interviewing helps to take a big goal and break it down into easier segments. It can also help someone strengthen their desire for change and enhance their confidence in taking action.

How long does treatment last?

MI is generally a short term counseling technique, often being used for 1-3 therapy sessions.

Is homework a part of MI?

Occasionally. Sometimes at the end of a MI session, the client will develop a plan of action that they will implement in between therapy sessions.
MI (Motivational Interviewing) Online Resources

Psychology Today
Provides a more detailed explanation of MI.

Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers
Provides more explanation about MI and has a video about the benefits of MI.