The Motivational Interview
In a ‘motivational interview’, the focus is on encouraging a person to make a personal decision to change behavior – and then to remain committed to that change. Motivational interviewing was originally developed in 1983 to assist people to change their behavior with regard to alcohol abuse. However, the technique can also be of assistance in many other situations in which people wish to change their personal behavior, but are uncertain about doing so – including excessive gambling, dietary habits and so on. The emphasis is thus on change – and motivating people to do so. For example, a person who has a problem with obesity might be unsure of whether to commence a diet that has been recommended. Even if the person knows that continued overeating would be harmful to health, he or she might have a feeling of being ‘trapped’ and unable to escape. Many people with difficulties such as this are uncertain about changing a pattern of behavior. Such uncertainty is known as ‘ambivalence’. Motivational interviewing tries to overcome such ambivalence through a non-challenging and person-centered style of counselling that enhances a person’s motivation to change behavior. In a motivational interview, the focus is on encouraging a person to make a personal decision to change their behavior. The focal point of this chapter concerns motivational interviewing and its ability to prompt a person to change behavior and move beyond ambivalence.
- the change process
- techniques for motivational interviewing
- strategies for motivational interviewing.