What’s all the buzz about? Motivational Interviewing (MI) is definitely being talked about more and more by providers and administrators of social service, criminal justice, and health care programs. Why all the interest?
What I hear from training participants…they are tired of doing the same old thing, and the same old thing doesn’t seem to be working. They are relieved to find something new. At the beginning of the 1st day of a 2-day training (the standard for an introductory level training in MI) it usually goes something like this… “Yeah, it’s (MI) great, I’m doing a lot of this already.”
At the end of the 1st day… “Wow, this is harder than it looks, and I am so glad to have some new concrete techniques to try out with my clients.” Most people are doing things already that are very much in line with Motivational Interviewing and going through a 2-day training they are able to see how their practice already reflects the MI “spirit” as well as walk away with a bevy of new techniques and strategies to assist their clients in the daunting task of behavior change.
So, what is it?
MI is a directive, client-centered counseling approach focused on enhancing intrinsic motivation for change by helping clients explore and (hopefully) resolve ambivalence (Miller & Rollnick, 2002). Motivational Interviewing evolved out of Dr. William Miller’s work treating problem drinkers in the early 1980s and was further developed several years later with the assistance of Dr. Stephen Rollnick. MI is an evidence-based practice, with over 300 studies showing its effectiveness- another reason for all the interest!
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