Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) in South Carolina

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a collaborative and goal-oriented treatment technique for improving motivation and dedication to a specific goal. Collectively, the therapist (interviewer) and client use rationalizations for change led by the patient to address indecision and turn the desired goal into actuality.

It is the therapist's role, through attentive listening, to implement MI's core interviewing skills and help clients avoid hesitation, pushing them forward toward change.

These interviewing skills create what is known as OARS. It stands for:

Open Questions—asking open-ended questions

Affirmations—emphasizing the positive

Reflective Listening—restating what is said

Summarize—collecting and linking what is said with the emphasis on change

The therapist and client flow freely through four intersecting processes in the motivational interviewing experience.

  1. Engaging—constructing a collaborative relationship between therapist and client
  2. Focusing—preserving a specific direction in change conversation
  3. Evoking—prompting the client's own motivations for change
  4. Planning—creating a responsibility to change and developing a plan of action

The method of creating change is powered by four key elements that are the spirit of motivational interviewing:

  1. Partnership
  2. Acceptance
  3. Compassion
  4. Evocation

Efficacy of Motivational Interviewing

Since motivational interviewing was first introduced in the 1980s, research has shown that it can efficiently treat a range of psychological and bodily health conditions. Research also shows that motivational interviewing is a tactical therapeutic instrument for addiction recovery. The only drawback is that MI doesn’t work well with clients who don’t believe they have a problem, which is a question stone that needs to be answered first. It can also successfully treat a variety of conditions.

Motivational Interviewing Benefits

There are several reasons why motivational interviewing is a broadly used form of behavioral therapy, including:

  • Supports the client's self-confidence in themselves
  • Helps clients to take accountability
  • Decreases the risk of future relapse
  • Preparing clients to become more receptive to rehab
  • Shows clients that they have the power to change their lives
  • Teaches clients to accept responsibility

Motivational interviewing is especially fruitful to people who are originally unwilling to begin rehab or who are not ready to change their life.

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