Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a goal-focused, client-centered counseling approach developed, in part, by clinical psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. The goal of MI is to help people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities and find the motivation they need to change their behavior. Although motivational interviewing was first used for problem drinking and others with substance abuse issues, it has been proven effective for many people struggling with making healthier choices. This therapeutic technique works especially well with those who start off resistive, unmotivated or unprepared for change (and less well on those who are already prepared and motivated to change). Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s motivational interviewing specialists today.

Meet the specialists

Many people with chronic health conditions have been put into the “sick role”, where they are expected to and rewarded when they passively take in the treatments their all-knowing doctors prescribe. I’m not like that! I want to know what your motivations and goals are for treatment, and I will collaborate with you on your goals, not mine.

— Peter Addy, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA

Motivational Interviewing is a technique that really gets my clients to articulate their reasons for wanting to change. In a supportive manner we will explore your need for change, and the reasons why you want to change. I love this approach because it is client centered, increases the clients motivation, and allows the client to commit to the change. My role is to listen, reflect, and help my client make the changes necessary so that the can become a better version of themselves.

— Natasha Fortune, Counselor in Long Island City, NY

I use motivational interviewing to understand what drives parents' desire to change the way they are parenting. This helps me to focus my coaching toward that motivation and help the parents focus on it as well. For example, if the parents' motivation is less stress and more free time, I can remind the parents of this when making parenting decisions.

— Lisa Wittorff, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

I have participated in each level of Motivational Interviewing through the CCOE at Case Western University, and became a trainer in MI skills as well as the MI Champions group supervisor expert. I use this orientation to help clients make decisions through their own stage of change and readiness through Socratic methods rather than prescribing to a client what they need to do to impact change in their lives.

— Stephanie Hurley, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH

I received training in motivational interviewing (MI) and while working at the VA. I have spent the last several years of my career teaching other people in the medical field how to use MI effectively. Anytime someone is making a change, it is normal to feel some amount of ambivalence or resistance. MI is a person-centered way to help someone overcome those feelings to make changes in the best interest of their health and wellbeing.

— Sari Chait, Psychologist in Newton, MA

Motivational interviewing is a powerful tool to help you make decisions, identify goals, and make lasting changes in your life. This technique empowers you to understand and then take steps towards what you want.

— Megan McDavid, Sex Therapist in Portland, OR

I have been trained to help you through Motivational Interviewing to integrate specific goals for positive change and/or bring acceptance into your life. I offer detailed techniques to encourage you to achieve your stated desired behavior. I use our therapeutic relationship to empathetically confront your concerns, followed by Socratic questioning to help you discover your thought processes. We use your experiences to strategize solutions. The goal is to help you reinforce specific behaviors.

— Alan Zupka, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in ORLANDO, FL

I was trained in motivational interviewing through my alcohol and drug abuse certificate courses and multiple continuing education seminars. I have worked with those battling addiction and with legal issues my entire career.

— Michael Krusinsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered and targeted approach to therapy. It provides a direction for therapy that is rooted in your value system. You and I will work together as a team to uncover your goals, and explore how to leverage your intrinsic strengths to meet those goals. Motivational Interviewing is at the heart of my training both as a social worker and an addictions professional.

— Kian Leggett, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. Compared with non-directive counseling, it is more focused and goal-directed, and departs from traditional Rogerian client-centered therapy through this use of direction, in which therapists attempt to influence clients to consider making changes, rather than engaging in non-directive therapeutic exploration.

— Tony Filanowski, Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY

I have training in motivational interviewing and the impact it has on building the therapeutic relationship.

— Katelyn Prechel, Clinical Social Worker in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

I have a background in working with individuals who need help addressing their substance use. Motivational Interviewing is great because it will use your own knowledge and expertise to help guide you toward your own goals, not goals of other people (or the goals of the clinician). Motivational Interviewing also works great to motivate people to move towards health-related goals, such as exercise, healthy eating, and anything in-between.

— Inga Curry, Clinical Psychologist in SAN DIEGO, CA

I have worked with Motivational Interviewing since before I began my work as a counselor. This theory helps an individual understand what they can get out of therapy and how to achieve the results they want. It looks at what can you do to help improve your life - finding the areas you would like to improve and then looking at ways to do it better.

— Taunya Gesner, Counselor in Gresham, OR

There are obsessions and addictions that we want to change such as smoking, porn/sex addiction, shopping, overeating, dieting or exercise, substance use and others. We know how badly addictions and compulsive behavior make us feel. We can’t always stop these behaviors on our own. In therapy, I will help you find and grow your motivation to change and achieve your goals. It can be a difficult road but I will get you there and show you how.

— Elissa Grunblatt, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Amityville, NY

Motivational Interviewing (or MI if you'd like another acronym) is a type of questioning that helps generate motivation from within you. It is about identifying if you really want to do something, why you want to do it, and figuring out what is getting in the way. It helps conversation be more about feeling heard than a push and pull about what you "should" do, say, or think. I like to use it in therapy and in evaluations to help you figure out your next steps.

— Megan Carney, Psychologist in Meridian, ID

I have worked with clients for the past six years with motivational interviewing. This therapy allows clients to reach their goals and understand their motivations while rolling with normal resistance that comes with change.

— Heather Bell, Clinical Social Worker in Clackamas, OR

This set of skills is based on asking a series of questions to help you uncover your underlying reasons to move forward with plans or identify and work with obstacles that prevent you from doing so.

— Kate McNulty, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR