Motivational interviewing

TitleMotivational interviewing
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsIsenhart, C
EditorCraig, RJ
Book TitleClinical and diagnostic interviewing
PublisherJason Aronson
Place PublishedLanham, MD
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0-7657-0003-4
Keywordsambivalence, client ambivalence, Intention, intention to change, interviewing, Motivation, motivational interviewing, Therapeutic alliance, therapeutic alliance development

(from the chapter) The author explains that Motivational interviewing (MI) is an empirically supported therapeutic approach that, at its core, seeks to build a strong working alliance with the client that thereby allows the client to change by resolving his/her ambivalence. Miller and Rollnick (2002), the developers of MI, have stated that therapists can "wrestle" with clients or "dance" with them (figuratively speaking). Wrestling with clients results in resistance, while dancing with clients can result in the client talking about change (what is called "change talk") and consequently being more likely to make changes. Miller (2002) describes new research where it was found that clients receiving MI therapy in a drug abuse treatment program who verbalized more change-talk statements during the sessions tended to have higher levels of abstinence at follow-up. Specifically, the stronger the commitment language (change talk), the better the outcome. The researchers found that commitment language consisted of client statements of desire and ability to change and reasons and need to change. The more the clients were allowed and encouraged to verbalize change-talk statements (i.e., the desire, ability, reasons, and need to change), the stronger was the commitment language and the better was the outcome. This is the major goal in MI: to create the therapeutic atmosphere in which the client can engage in change talk. Change-talk statements that occur in MI include the client verbalizing recognition of the disadvantages of the status quo (i.e., verbalizing recognition of problems associated with the current behavior and concern about the possible ongoing negative consequences of his/her behavior), verbalizing recognition of the advantages of making changes, verbalizing intentions to change, and verbalizing optimism for being able to make changes (Miller & Rollnick, 2002). The goal of this chapter is to provide to the reader an understanding of the basics of MI. Although in practice it is helpful to read the materials, to truly learn to do MI requires completing a formal training program and receiving supervision and consultation with an experienced MI practitioner. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (chapter)

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