Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a way of communicating with others who are considering making changes in their life.
MI has been used in a number of settings with various populations and has been found to be
effective in facilitating behavior change.
No one changes unless they want to.
Not if you beg them. Not if you shame them.
Not if you use reason, emotion, or tough love.
There's only one thing that makes someone change:
their own realization that they need to do it.
And there's only one time it will happen:
when they decide they're ready.
What is MI?
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is "a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person's own commitment to change." (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). Providers who are trained in MI learn how to effectively communicate with others to both evoke wisdom and share their own expertise effectively.
Roots of MI
MI was developed by William R. Miller, Ph.D. and Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D. in the 1980's. This approach is heavily rooted in Carl Roger's humanistic approach but differs in a significant way: it is focused and goal oriented. Initially, this approach was used with individuals considering making changes in their substance use. Research showed impressive findings in the behavior changes of patients when providers used MI with this population. Since then, MI has branched into numerous fields, showing similar efficacy in supporting people in making positive changes in their lives.
Not only does MI make sense intuitively, it is also a strongly evidenced approach. MI can be learned in a short amount of time and can have a profound impact on interactions and outcomes.
MI has been cited in over 25,000 journals and 2000 randomized clinical trials have been published to date. Research shows that MI is an evidence-based approach for supporting people in behavior change. MI has been found to be applicable to a variety of fields including counseling, psychiatry, primary care, diabetes care, leadership, dentistry, chronic illness, corrections, and addictions support to name a few!