“Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence.” (Miller & Rollnick, 2002).
The Spirit of Motivational Interviewing:
- Motivation to change is elicited from the client, and not imposed from without.
- It is the client's task, not the counselor's, to articulate and resolve his or her ambivalence.
- Direct persuasion is not an effective method for resolving ambivalence.
- The counseling style is generally a quiet and eliciting one.
- The counselor is directive in helping the client to examine and resolve ambivalence.
- Readiness to change is not a client trait, but a fluctuating product of interpersonal interaction.
- The therapeutic relationship is more like a partnership or companionship than expert/recipient roles. The therapist respects the client's autonomy and freedom of choice (and consequences) regarding his or her own behavior.
Differences from more Confrontational Approaches:
- An MI clinician does not argue that the person has a problem and needs to change.
- An MI clinician does not offer direct advice or prescribes solutions to the problem without the person's permission or without actively encouraging the person to make his or her own choices.
- An MI clinician does not use an authoritative/expert stance leaving the client in a passive role.
- An MI clinician does not do most of the talking, or does not function as a uni-directional information delivery system.
- An MI clinician does not impose a diagnostic label.
- And lastly, an MI clinician never behaves in a punitive or coercive manner.
Please see: www.motivationalinterviewing.org