Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a patient-centered, directive counseling style that builds on intrinsic motivation. The therapist creates a partnership with the patient to explore and resolve ambivalence about behavioral change. It is the individual’s task to articulate and resolve ambivalence about change and the therapist’s role to help the patient examine his or her internal conflicts about values, goals, beliefs, and behaviors. 


Most children and teens do not want to attend therapy and some adults are apprehensive. Motivational Interviewing is an excellent intervention to motivate change and overcome resistance. MI is a way of interacting with people and having a conversation that naturally invites positive change.

MI Approach

MI is designed to help people move towards change. It honors clients' autonomy and seeks to help them make change by emphasizing their own reasons, instead of persuading them to follow expert advice. Through motivational interviewing, the therapist will help clients identify what they would like to be different in their lives and what they have done in the past that has been helpful. Together, you will explore various approaches that you might try in order to reach your goals. 

MI Benefits

  • Explore and discover client's interest to consider and make changes in their own lives
  • Examine why a client may be ambivalent towards change
  • Elicit and strengthen a client's change-talk, which has clients express their desire for change in their own words
  • Help a client plan for and begin making changes in their life
  • Enhance a client's confidence to take action
  • Notice a client's incremental successes as they move towards change