Eight stages in learning motivational interviewing

TitleEight stages in learning motivational interviewing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMiller, WR, Moyers, TB
JournalJournal of Teaching in The Addictions
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1533-2705
KeywordsBehavior Modification -- Methods, Health Behavior, Motivational Interviewing -- Methods, Professional-Client Relations

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a clinical method for helping people to resolve ambivalence about change by evoking intrinsic motivation and commitment. Based on our research and experience in providing training on MI, practitioners acquire expertise in this method 'through a sequence of eight stages: (1) openness to collaboration with clients' own expertise, (2) proficiency in client-centered counseling, including accurate empathy, (3) recognition of key aspects of client speech that guide the practice of MI, (4) eliciting and strengthening client change talk, (5) rolling with resistance, (6) negotiating change plans, (7) consolidating client commitment, and (8) switching flexibly between MI and other intervention styles. These key skills are acquired roughly in order, with earlier steps representing logical prerequisites for later stages of skill acquisition.

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