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Motivational Interviewing: What You Need To Know ~ Daily Health News

Motivational interviewing refers to a counseling approach that relies on collaborative conversation between the counselor and patient.

There are different approaches counselors can take when it comes to communicating with their clients. One effective method of communication is known as motivational interviewing.

There are different approaches counselors can take when it comes to communicating with their clients. One effective method of communication is known as motivational interviewing.

What is motivational interviewing?

Motivational interviewing refers to a counseling approach that relies on collaborative conversation between the counselor and patient in order to motivate the patient to want to change. This communication and motivation then drives the individual to take real action and actually make the change occur.

Every patient comes to counseling at a different stage in his or her life. Some have yet to accept the fact that they need to make changes, some are ready to make a change but don’t know how, and some have tried to change but have failed and need professional help. Through motivational interviewing, each individual will be able to work through his or her desired goals and ultimately find success.

What is the main focus of motivational interviewing?

There are four different interactions that need to be taken for successful motivational interviewing. These include asking open-ended questions, providing affirmations, using reflective listening and providing summary statements.

During a motivational interviewing session, patients are not judged or confronted about their behaviors. Instead, they are asked into a welcoming environment with someone who simply wants to talk about their behaviors, the consequences of their behaviors, the changes that could be made, and the future of their life when these changes occur. All of this is meant to motivate the individual to make their desired change.

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What makes motivational interviewing different than other counseling approaches?

With motivational interviewing, the desire to change is brought on solely by the patient. Yes, the counselor is there to talk with them about their behaviors, the consequences of their behaviors, and how their life could be different if change was made, but they never force the change on the person. Instead, they use the motivational conversation to help the patient understand that they can change and provide them with the desire to want to change all on their own. The patient is never forced to change, and they can decide to change on their own time. In fact, the counselor is there mostly to direct the questions and thoughts, but never to provide his or her own input or opinion.

What “challenges” are best resolved with motivational interviewing?

There are certain fields where motivational interviewing is typically applied, and those include health coaching, gambling addiction, substance abuse and mental disorders.

Where did motivational interviewing start?

The concept of motivational interviewing was developed by clinical psychologists Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D. and William Miller, Ph.D. The approach was first described in 1983 and used as a treatment with individuals suffering from drinking problems. More detailed descriptions of the procedures were announced in 1991. It has since grown into a popular and widely used counseling approach today.

How can I become a motivational interviewer?

If you wish to become a motivational interviewer or use the approach in your own counseling, you need to receive training. Training classes can be found on the MINT website.

James Lawson is an life coach, podcaster and freelance writer focused on addictions and recovery

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