Motivational Interviewing (MI)
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What Is Motivational Interviewing?
Overarching Principles of MI (the MI Spirit)
- Partnership: an attitude of collaboration rather than an authoritarian style.
- Acceptance: respect for the autonomy of the patient/client.
- Compassion: promotion of the patient’s welfare and the prioritization of his/her needs.
- Evocation: the evocation of the patient’s own motivation.
The Four Processes of MI
- Engagement: using a person-centered empathic listening.
- Focusing: identifying a target for change that is to be the primary subject of discussion in therapy.
- Evoking: eliciting ‘change talk’ to support patient motivation.
- Planning: implementing change by using client expertise.
Five Core Skills of MI
- Asking open-ended questions
- Reflective listening
- Informing and advising
De Almeida Neto (2017) argues that four micro-counseling skills are important in MI:
- The ability to ask open-ended questions that assist clients to explore the need for and possibility of change, supporting their autonomy.
- The ability to provide affirmations that assist counselors in building rapport and supporting clients’ self-efficacy or confidence in their ability to master change, with personal strengths and prior successes being highlighted.
- The capacity for active listening, which assists counselors to portray empathy and to guide clients toward making a change.
- The ability to provide summary statements to the client which communicate interest and understanding and draw attention to important elements of the discussion.
- De Almeida Neto, A. C. (2017). Understanding motivational interviewing: An evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 3(4), 379–389.
- Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change. New York: Guilford Press.