Motivational Interviewing Explore Readiness for Change

Motivational Interviewing:
Explore Your Readiness for Change

Patrick J. Hart Psy.D.
Know Thyself | Do You Really Yearn for Change?

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”   — Albert Schweitzer 

What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational Interviewing refers to a counseling approach initially developed by clinical psychologists  Professor William R Miller, Ph.D. and Professor Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D. This approach recognizes and accepts the fact that people who need to make changes in their lives approach counseling at different levels of readiness to alter their behavior.

If the counseling is mandated, the person may never have thought of changing the behavior in question. Most people never develop a formal drug addiction that involves physical withdrawal symptoms. Some people may have thought about their actions but not about taking steps to live their lives differently. Other people, especially those voluntarily seeking counseling, may be actively trying to change their behavior and may have been trying to do so unsuccessfully for years.

When you visit my practice, I’ll help you explore your readiness to do things differently, and will help you make informed decisions about various resources and alternatives for growth using contemporary psychological behavior change strategies.

Motivational interviewing is non-judgmental and non-confrontational. The approach attempts to increase a person’s awareness of the potential and actual problems caused, consequences experienced, and risks faced as a result of the behavior in question. Alternately, counselors help clients envision a better future, asses their personal stage of change, and become increasingly motivated to achieve it. Either way, the strategy seeks to help people think differently about their actions and ultimately to consider what might be gained through acting differently.

Motivational interviewing is considered to be both client-centered aand semi-directive. It departs from traditional Rogerian client-centered therapy through this use of direction, in which counselors attempt to influence their clients to consider making changes, rather than having them simply non-directively explore themselves. This approach is based upon four principles:

  1. Express empathy. Therapists share with clients the therapist’s understanding of their perspective.
  2. Develop discrepancy. Therapists help clients appreciate the value of change by exploring the discrepancy between how they want their lives to be vs. how they currently are (or between their deeply-held values and their day-to-day behavior).
  3. Roll with resistance. Therapists accept a client’s reluctance to alter their behavior as natural rather than pathological.
  4. Support self-efficacy. Therapists and counselors explicitly embrace client autonomy (even when they choose to not alter their behavior) and help them move toward change successfully and with confidence.

Various adaptations of this technique include Motivational Enhancement Therapy, a time-limited four-session adaptation used in Project MATCH, a US government funded study of treatment for alcohol problems, and the Drinkers’ Check-up, which provides normative-based feedback and explores client motivation to live differently in light of the feedback.

Motivational interviewing is supported by over 80 randomized clinical control trials across a range of target populations and behaviors, including substance abuse, health-promotion behaviors, medical adherence, and mental health issues.

This article was found on:
Wikipedia: Explore More about This Interviewing Technique Here!

Dr. Patrick J. Hart
Explore your readiness to change whatever behaviors are defeating you.

If your addictive behavior hurts your relationships, livelihood or health, give me a call!