If you’re looking for an effective, collaborative treatment plan that will inspire healthy behavior change, consider motivational interviewing. This evidence-based talk therapy helps individuals explore their feelings while working toward a goal.
What is motivational interviewing?
Motivational interviewing (MI) is a collaborative counseling style designed to inspire personal motivation for behavior change. First developed by psychologists William Miller and Stephen Rollnick in the 1980s, it’s since been regarded as an effective way to help address substance use disorders, smoking cessation, medication adherence, and to instill overall healthier habits.
MI uses structured interviews to help people identify their negative feelings and thoughts and to create healthier habits. With this approach, the therapist listens and offers guidance, while empowering the client to connect with their reasons, motivation, and capacity for change. A key component of the process is “change talk” which is when a person explains why and how they might change.
“It’s a way of having a conversation about change that is the opposite of telling people what’s wrong with them and what to do. It's more about inviting them to tell you about their own reasons for change, their own motivations for change, and their own ideas about how to do it,” Miller explained on a podcast last year.
“Put simply, this involves coming alongside the person and helping them to say why and how they might change for themselves,” wrote Rollnick on his website.