What is Motivational Interviewing?

By Nicholas DeMarco, Psy.D.Director of IDD & MH Supports

motivational imgWe all have been there, a seemingly endless verbal battle with an individual we work with. In my experience it has been a struggle for staff and clinicians alike to work with a resistant individual. Enter Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is basically a collaborative conversation used to strengthen a person’s own motivation for and commitment to change. More formally, MI is grounded in a respectful stance with a focus on building rapport in the initial stages of a relationship. A central concept of MI is the identification, examination, and resolution of ambivalence about changing behavior.  We all have been there, a seemingly endless verbal battle with an individual we work with. In my experience it has been a struggle for staff and clinicians alike to work with a resistant individual. Enter Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is basically a collaborative conversation used to strengthen a person’s own motivation for and commitment to change. More formally, MI is grounded in a respectful stance with a focus on building rapport in the initial stages of a relationship. A central concept of MI is the identification, examination, and resolution of ambivalence about changing behavior.  

Ambivalence, feeling two ways about behavior change, is a natural part of the change process.  Individuals trained in MI are paying attention to this ambivalence and the person’s readiness for change. Certain techniques and strategies are used to help move a person to change their behavior. MI includes three essential elements:

  • MI is a special kind of conversation about change
  • MI is collaborative. It is a person-centered partnership that respects the person’s independence.
  • MI can be evocative because it is calling out a person’s own motivation and commitment.

MI can be particularly useful for DSP’s in a variety of settings to help identify and work towards goal directed behaviors. See below for a training opportunity to learn more about MI!


 

Upcoming Motivational Interviewing Training Opportunity

11/7/19 AND 11/8/19 (Phoenixville Hospital)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a live, evidence-based practice for helping people who are resistant to change. In 2013, Miller and Rollnick released the third edition of their seminal work, Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, which contains new wording and some fundamental changes in technique. Therefore this course is useful for people who already have some pre-existing knowledge of MI as well as those learning it for the first time. This two-day training will be an interactive blend of didactic information and opportunities for experiential learning.