Motivational interviewing is a counseling approach stemming from the ideology that the client is the one who creates the change. Motivational interviewing seeks to help individuals address their internal feelings of ambivalence or indecision and embrace their desire for positive change. It is a client-centered approach which emphasizes a healthy and trusting relationship between the client and the therapist. This approach values empathy and practicality. Motivational interviewing understands that change is not easy, but that positive change is something that can be developed with the right support. Therapists who use motivational interviewing can help clients collaboratively move through the stages of change to live a life more in line with their personal values.
Motivational interviewing is an incredibly flexible model, as it is defined not solely on specific techniques, but instead by certain methods of facilitating. It can be used in multiple different treatment modalities, ranging from psychodynamic approaches to ACT or DBT. It can be a powerful addition to already successful treatment methods. While motivational interviewing is effective for a wide variety of struggles, it has been shown to be particularly effective for helping with addictions and ongoing physical health struggles. Motivational meets the client where they are currently at, and helps them shift towards positive and long-lasting change.