Motivational interviewing is a radical new therapeutic process of countering addiction. Read below to learn what motivational interviewing is.

What Is Motivational Interviewing

Traditional therapeutic approach to prevent chronic drinking relied heavily on therapist literally reading the riot act to the patient. Motivational hearing on the other hand works on providing a picture of an alternative lifestyle based on the views and wishes of the person suffering from addiction. It is a patient-centered approach with the main focus being that the solution should come from the patient rather than a solution offered by the therapist. This radical departure from the traditional method was developed by two clinical psychologists Professor William R Miller and Professor Stephen Rollnick when they found out that the traditional method was very poor in treating alcoholism. They reasoned that unless the therapist empathizes with the patients’ reasons of addiction and accepts it, the patient would be reluctant to look for solutions. They also felt that when a patient reaches the solution himself or herself then he or she is more likely to follow it and adopt change. Read below to learn more on motivational interviewing.
Information On Motivational Interviewing
Principles Of Motivational Interviewing
Motivational interviewing is based on four principles: 
  • The therapist should empathize with the client. So, the therapists should understand the client’s perspective and share it with the client.
  • The clients should be made to see the difference between how they are living now and how they wish their lives to be. So, the clients should be helped to appreciate the value of change.
  • The therapists should understand the reluctance of the clients to change. They should not consider it to be pathological and treat it as natural.
  • The therapist should accept and ensure client autonomy and in the process, help the client seek change with confidence and self-efficacy. 
Basic Guidelines
  • Based on the experiences and viewpoint of the client a collaboration is formed between the therapist and the client. So, motivational interviewing focuses on collaboration rather than confrontation. The therapist doesn’t confront the person regarding the client’s addiction.
  • The therapist doesn’t impose his or her ideas on the client. The therapist rather focuses on the client’s own ideas. This is because the basic idea of motivational interviewing is that the wish to change should come from the client rather than the therapist. So, the therapists “draw out” the client’s motivation to change.
  • Authority rests with the client rather than the therapist and also gives the client the responsibility for their actions.
  • The therapist establishes trust with the client.
  • The client should not feel that he or she is being judged. So, the therapist should understand the viewpoint of the client regarding his or her addiction. The therapist should work towards creating an atmosphere of acceptance.
  • The therapist should work towards helping the client make up his or her mind to the idea of getting rid of addiction. The therapist should help the client make various choices and actions and thus help them move forward. Without applying any pressure, the therapist develops goals and actions along with the client’s values, needs, wishes, and strengths.
  • The therapist should not oppose or criticize the client. Instead, the therapist should help the client develop a new understanding of the problem by offering different interpretation. Thereby, the therapist increases the client’s motivation to change.
  • The therapist should make the person believe in his or her power to change. The therapist should support the client whenever the belief falters.

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