Motivational Interviewing (MI)


Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a patient-centered, directive counseling style that builds on intrinsic motivation. The therapist creates a partnership with the patient to explore and resolve ambivalence about behavioral change. Most children and teens do not want to attend therapy and some adults are apprehensive. Motivational Interviewing is an excellent intervention to motivate change and overcome resistance. It is the individual’s task to articulate and resolve ambivalence about change and the therapist’s role to help the patient examine his or her internal conflicts about values, goals, beliefs, and behaviors.

MI includes some general techniques and specific tools the help people think about change. These tools and techniques can help you have a brief and focused conversation about change. Tools include self-evaluation rulers, readiness ruler, and decisional balance.

Self Evaluation Rulers

Self Evaluation rulers help people think about change in a concrete and specific way. These can be presented verbally by asking to rate importance and confidence of change on a scale of one to ten.

Readiness Ruler

Readiness ruler enables the individual to rate their readiness for change and explore reasons to change and reasons to continue their behavior. This is an excellent way to help explore pros and cons of their choices and behaviors.

Decisional Balance

Decisional Balance allows the individual to consider pros and cons of current behavior and the pros and cons of changing. Many do not stop to think about the negative aspects of their behaviors. When asked to explore these, it can foster internal motivation.

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It takes courage face such difficult challenges

As your therapist, the first obstacle to overcome is building a positive rapport with you. Second is to overcome resistance to treatment. Third, build self-esteem by identifying strengths, resilience and overcoming challenges with change.

I will build an alliance with you, affirm your struggles, achievements, values, feelings and emphasize strengths. I will notice and appreciate all their positive actions. Even the small ones.