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   Motivational Interviewing (MI) 

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered, directive approach to produce change by enhancing internal motivation and exploring and resolving ambivalence. This approach is best used for those who may desire a change in current behaviour that may not be effective in outcome or desire to learn a more effective behaviour for whatever change they are seeking. MI works on the premise that people are motivated by desire for growth and self-determination and that everyone strives towards that potential. 

Common issues Motivational Interviewing can treat

MI has been found to be an effective treatment for:

  • Substance abuse problems
  • Weight loss
  • Improve adherence to medical treatment
  • HIV risk behaviours
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gambling
  • Schizophrenia spectrum disorders
  • Adolescents
  • Adults

How can Motivational Interviewing help me?

MI is a collaborative process with the client. It provides a relationship that is warm and accepting, honors the client's expertise and perspective, and assists with helping the client reach their goals. Goals are drawn from the client rather than instilled by the therapist. Advice or information given by the therapist are only provided when asked for permission from the client. MI recognizes that the client is autonomous and responsible for change and the therapist's role is to hold hope for the client to do so by affirming strengths, personal resources and respecting clients autonomy and expertise to do so. The client is free to make the decision to change, or not.

How quickly does Motivational Interviewing work?

There is no absolute answer. It depends on where the client is in the stages of change. It also depends on many factors surrounding the behaviour. If the client chooses to not change, this will not be effective. If the client has high motivation to change, things will begin to change immediately. It's important to understand that changing a behaviour takes time and may include relapses, all of which are part of the process in change. This type of therapy tends to be used with other types of therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Psychologists who specialize in Motivational Interviewing

Scarlett Eyben: 10+ years working with MI specifically for Substance use and other addictive behaviours. Full 4 year degree in Addictions Counselling.