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Motivational Interview


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Renowned clinical psychologists Professor William R Miller and Professor Stephen Rollnick built the concept of Motivational Interview (MI) which actually refers to an approach of counselling. This concept evolved while experimenting the treatment of the problem drinkers. It first came out in the form of an article in the publication of Behavioural Psychotherapy.

Aspects of Motivational Interview

It involves a style of counselling which has the client in the centre point. It helps the clients to change their behaviour by not only helping them to explore but also to resolve ambiance. Motivational Interview is more focused and goal oriented when compared to the non-directive counselling. The client gets more opportunity and scope to explore themselves in this type of counselling.

Processes involved in this method of counselling

People looking for changes in the approach of living their lives opt for this counselling. People who are unsuccessful in changing their behaviours for years should actually opt for it. The basic skills of interaction should be established primarily to start with this style of counselling. The interaction skills should have the ability of asking questions that are open ended. Another ability of reflective listening is also needed. The skills are strategically used when focus is laid on topics dealing with the change in confidence, importance of looking forward and change.

Other characteristics of Motivational Interview

MI is generally non-confrontational, non-adversarial and non-judgmental. The awareness of the client is increased by this style of counselling against the potential problems, the consequences that are experienced along with the risks that are faced. A better future is envisioned by the clients with the help of the therapists who also help them to become motivated so that they can achieve it. Clients start thinking in a different manner and the try to consider the gain that is going to come through the change with the help of the strategy. The change in the behaviours that is aimed by the strategy has nothing to do with the aim or the personal value of the client. MI has fostered within it the therapeutic gain of warmth, acceptance along with genuine empathy.

Goals of motivational interview

Engaging clients are the primary of concern of motivational interview. Motivation is evoked in the client so that positive changes occur in him. The change in the behaviours of the client may occur in a short span of time or may take a longer span. The time in which the change will occur will vary from one person to the other. Maintaining the change should be thought of as a challenge and should also be considered as a rule. It deals with exploration rather than explanation, autonomy instead of authority and collaboration rather than confrontation. The outside forces does not impose the motivation to change in the client. Resolving his ambivalence is the task of the client and not of the counsellor. The client does not have a readiness for change. It is actually a result of fluctuating interpersonal relation and interaction. |The humanistic and optimistic theories of Carl Roger is the basis of the Motivational Interviewing. The theories talk about the capability of the people for exercising their free will. Self-actualization is the process through which the change in clients take place. Mostly the changes that are made in an individual by the therapeutic processes are for the positive changes. There are many people who need a formal treatment and a strong support to cross the long path of recovery. The ambivalence is resolved when the intrinsic values and motivations of the client is worked with. The tendency of aggressive confrontation must be avoided while the treatment as it reduces the likeness of the change in behaviour. In most of the cases, the ambivalence of the client becomes the central problem. The ambivalence causes the lack of motivation. Ambivalence should never be brought up as a denial in front of the interaction of the therapist and the client as it causes irritation in the client.

Physical contacts are extremely minimal during these therapies e.g. just a handshake. One should not impose any sort of judgment or direct the clients to do anything. These create barriers in the relationship of the client and the therapists. The motivational conflicts that are stage-specific are facilitated by the style of motivational interviewing. The further progress can be hindered by this. The opposing attitudes of the client can be resolved in the motivational style by the opportunity that every dilemma offers them. The motivational interviewing’s strategies is much more persuasive than being coercive. Optimism and self-efficacy is also needed during the treatment. Judging the current behaviour is also important. The therapist should know to respect the feelings of the client. Strong support is needed throughout the process of recovery. Persuasion is needed with arguing, lecturing and logic.

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