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Motivational Interviewing

Brief overview of Motivational Interviewing - what it is, where is can be employed and its development from psychological models (Stages of Change model).

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Motivational Interviewing

What is Motivational Interviewing (MI)?
MI can be described as a collaborative approach in which the clients own intrinsic motivations and exploring ambivalence evokes resources for change. It originated in the drug and alcohol field, but has found many other applications including eating disorders and treatment adherence.

MI was born out of Carl Rogers work, and particular his three conditions for change: accurate empathy, non-possessive warmth and genuineness. There are four general principals in MI:

1. Express empathy – trying to understand the individual’s feelings without judging, criticising or blaming. Using ‘reflective-listening’ can help to build empathy. Accepting an individual where they are now may paradoxically liberate them to change. It also helps build the therapeutic alliance and their self-esteem.

2. Develop discrepancy – or ‘cognitive dissonance’ between current behaviour and broader goals/values. This allows the individual to make arguments for change.

3. Roll with resistance – avoid arguing for change, invite new perspectives don’t impose them. See resistance as a signal for you (the therapist) to do something different.

4. Support self-efficacy – the client’s belief in the possibility of change is an important motivator, client is responsible for carrying out the change and the therapist can support ...

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