What is MI?

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is:

  • A type of collaborative conversation to strengthen a person’s motivation and commitment to change.
  • A client-centered counseling addressing common problems people often encounter thinking about making personal changes.
  • Designed to strengthen movement toward a client’s selected goal by eliciting and exploring their reasons for change within a caring atmosphere.
  • Focused on the language of change and other critical elements in conversations about change.
  • Grounded in a solid and growing evidence base.

MI Is Rooted in Humane Values:*

  • Compassion – beneficence
  • Respect – unconditional positive regard
  • Justice – fairness, equity
  • Human Potential – hope, optimism
  • Acceptance – prizing differences
  • Collaboration – collective thinking

“Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” *  MI and Social Justice, William Miller, 9-20-12 Fort Wayne MINT Forum

Motivational Interviewing Is NOT:

    • A way to trick someone into doing something or changing in a way that he or she does not want.
    • Manipulating someone into ‘having’ motivation.
    • A panacea, and MI may not work with some people and situations.

Ten Things that Motivational Interviewing is Not  (Miller & Rollnick, 2009)

Click here for more resources which explain motivational interviewing.

Glossary of MI Terms