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The Impact of Motivational Interviewing

Individuals prone to or suffering from substance abuse, smoking, eating disorders, gambling, etc., are less likely to have the motivation and desire to change. As a humanistic psychological practice, motivational interviewing has been treating addictions, disorders, and mental health issues. Motivational interviewing (MI) is an approach that “encourages people to say why and how they might change and pertains both to a style of relating to others and a set of skills to facilitate that process” (Frost et al., 2018, p. 2).

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The four stages of motivational interviewing are engaging in a trustful working relationship, identifying the problem, helping the person find motivation for changing, and planning the change itself. At first, motivational interviewing was applied only to patients with alcohol addiction, but nowadays, it covers a wide variety of clinical problems, which is why the popularity of MI has significantly grown. It is quite challenging to identify which issues MI is most beneficial for, but there are plenty of reasons as to why this approach can be considered effective.

MI is person-centered and promotes responsibility, giving the patients both room to decide for themselves and ways to improve their motivation and mindfulness. The approach implies that “the counselor provides the conditions for growth and change by communicating attitudes of accurate empathy and unconditional positive regard” (Corey, 2017, p. 183). Therapists do not treat their clients as their opponents; on the contrary, they stress the importance of independence and make sure the conversation is always ambivalent. MI implies support, reflecting listening, empathy, and creating a safe and comfortable environment for the patient. In my estimation, MI is effective mainly because it is a gentle, respectful, and gradual process that allows people to use the resources they possess and establish their own goals and priorities.


Corey, G. (2017). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 10th Edition. Cengage Learning.

Frost, H., Campbell, P., Maxwell, M., O’Carroll, R. E., Dombrowski, S. U., Williams, B., Cheyne H., Coles, E., Pollock, A. (2018). Effectiveness of motivational interviewing on adult behaviour change in health and social care settings: A systematic review of reviews. PLOS ONE, 13(10), 1-39. Web.

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