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

When Dr. Rodriguez was training for a motivational interviewing, she realized that she was already using many of these techniques with clients. She began conducting trainings for couples struggling with diabetes to help motivate one another. These techniques are often utilized to address issues that clients what to change such as physical health conditions, addictions, and anger. Motivational interviewing can help people commit to change in many areas of their lives.

— Kate Rodriguez, Licensed Professional Counselor in CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

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 helps patient resolve problems by finding what it is that effectively motivates them to make changes. If a client's ultimate goal is long-term, it can help create focus on what steps need to be taken in order to achieve that goal. Then this type of therapy assists patients with determining how to complete short term goals through the strengths each client already posses. Often, helping clients find new strengths they didn't notice they had!

— Dena Paniccia, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fort Myers, FL

This is my primary approach. I act as a guide in helping client is over their own values and answers. The client, therefore, is their own expert, not me.

— Steve Wize, Counselor in Cranberry Township, PA

Healthcare for the Homeless Motivational Interviewing training 6 years working with homeless families in outreach setting

— Richelle Vawter, Licensed Professional Counselor in SEATTLE, WA

We all need a push sometimes to help us find hope, motivation, encouragement. It is beneficial to utilize this technique when working with those who are seeking change, ready to take action, and are open to learning and pinpointing how some behaviors they are engaging in are not in line with their values and goals.

— Emily Loeber, Counselor in Simpsonville, SC

Especially useful for young adults and for those who may not be completely ready to make changes, Motivational Interviewing is a non-confrontational and empathetic technique to help you move from considering change to acting on and maintaining desired behaviors.

— Paul Abodeely, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

We will work together to get to the root of what's really needing your attention, and identify practical solutions. Talk therapy can be especially helpful for people who are still gaining clarity about themselves and what they are wanting to change in their lives. I can assist you in learning mindfulness techniques, coping skills, and help you to create gradual and actionable goals that you can work towards.

— Jesse Spivack, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Motivational Interviewing is a technique in which the counselor becomes a helper in the change process and expresses acceptance of the individual. This style of counseling can help resolve ambivalence which prevents individuals from realizing personal goals. Motivational interviewing builds on Carl Rogers' optimistic and humanistic theories about people's capabilities to exercise free choice and grow through the process of self-actualization.

— Bradley Raburn, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Caldwell, ID

I use Motivational Interviewing (MI) when working with someone that wants to change something. Maybe you want to change a habit, an addiction, or choices you are making and want to become a better version of yourself. MI helps me as a therapist elicit your internal motivation to change, as that remains more effective than someone else telling you to change. I have completed several trainings in MI and use it daily in my practice across a variety of situations.

— Shannon Heers, Licensed Professional Counselor in Englewood, CO

I've been using motivational interviewing techniques since my first social work internship in 2012. I've taken multiple trainings in MI over the years. It's incredibly effective for folks who are on the fence about making changes.

— Rebecca Ogle, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

If you're planning to attend therapy, it's probably because you have a goal. You may not have completely flushed out what that goal is but I can assist with that. We will make sure that your goals are realistic as well as look at what your motivation is for these goals. We will see if there are ways to make you more motivated as well as what obstacles are challenging your motivation and success.

— Marcelle Craig, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Hayward, CA

There is so much to be learned by what we say and don't say. By asking you the right questions to why your life is not working for you, you can uncover common patterns that are causing you distress.

— Christine MacInnis, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Torrance, CA

I have experience using motivational interviewing as a therapy modality and as a evidence based practice.

— Leticia M. Facundo, Licensed Professional Counselor in Upland, CA

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 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

At Children's Hospital Los Angeles, I was a member of the Motivational Interviewing trainers group, tasked with providing one-on-one coaching for staff, as well as team presentations to the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, as part of an initiative to incorporate MI throughout programs.

— Jennifer Collins, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Pasadena, CA

Sometimes we just aren't ready to take the plunge -- and that's okay too. Motivational Interviewing is all about sitting in the uncertainties. With MI we will explore your options, figure out what's keeping you stuck, and decide if change is right for you, and help you develop a game-plan to enact if you should choose to switch things up a bit in your life. MI is all about meeting you where you're at, and not putting any pressure on you to change, unless YOU choose to change.

— Cassie McCarthy, Clinical Social Worker

I use the following skills to assist me with helping clients reach for change with MI: Express empathy through reflective listening. Develop discrepancy between clients' goals or values and their current behavior. Avoid argument and direct confrontation. Adjust to client resistance rather than opposing it directly. Support self-efficacy and optimism.

— Precious-Pearl Sie-Duke, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Cary, NC

How can I want something to change so badly, but yet not motivate myself to make the change? Using motivational interviewing we can look at what is making you want to change, what is the specific change you want to make, and what steps can you take TODAY to start making that happen.

— Jessica Byers, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Cheshire, CT

Motivational Interviewing is a technique used to put you in charge of your own therapy. I'm here to guide you, certainly, but the change needs to come from within you. I will ask questions and find ways to motivate you to make changes at a pace that you are comfortable with.

— Kirk Sheppard, Counselor in ,

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

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

I help you identify the places in your life that you can tap into to succeed not only with substance issues but in many areas that we have lost momentum.

— Harry Swanson, Counselor in Bessemer, MI

I utilize Motivational Interviewing to help those seeking a way out of their addiction. I tailor my approach to the individual and their unique circumstances. I will meet you where you are in the change process and support you on your journey to a better life.

— Marcy J. S. Johnson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker