Motivational interviewing is a technique used in therapy. Oftentimes, individuals who need help addressing addiction or managing a physical health condition best benefit from this sort of therapy. Motivational interviewing is a great tool to instill motivation in an individual to make healthier choices. Notably, this is just one of several options for a psychiatric counseling program at Insight Into Action Therapy.

Insight Into Action uses a multi-faceted approach to treatment. Consequently, we use several mental health therapy options to ensure our clients get an individual treatment plan that best suits them. In addition to motivational interviewing, some of the therapies available are cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, expressive therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is a treatment that confronts indecision and uncertainty, allowing individuals to move towards positive decision-making while setting and accomplishing goals. This treatment is beneficial for individuals that are unmotivated or otherwise unprepared for change. So, if someone is motivated to change, this treatment is not likely to benefit them. Notably, this is usually a short-term therapy option. Often, this therapy is used in conjunction with longer-term therapies since results with motivational interviewing can be achieved in as few as one or two sessions.

Furthermore, this technique is used in therapy or counseling to get the individual motivated. The motivation is either to get them to change behaviors that keep them from making healthy choices or to prepare for additional therapy. This therapy also works well for angry individuals. Motivational interviewing is used to help individuals through the emotional stages of change. The goal of this therapy is to connect the individual with their reason for the change.

Motivational Interviewing Techniques

Motivational interviewing is a collaborative process between the therapist and the individual. Some describe this technique as the happy medium between good listening and giving information/advice. The way this treatment is structured, the individual is empowered to change.

For this therapy to work, the therapist will ask the patient open-ended questions. This allows the individual to express their individual experiences, perspectives, and ideas. In return, the therapist will give information within the open-ended questions. Throughout this process, the therapist offers affirmation. This helps because individuals that participate in this therapy are often ambivalent and may have mixed feelings about change.

Then, by utilizing reflection, the therapist will repeat or rephrase what the individual is trying to communicate. By doing this, the therapist is expressing empathy. Additionally, summarization builds on rephrasing. Furthermore, summarizing will reinforce the key points made by answering the open-ended questions.

Fundamental Processes of Motivational Interviewing

The foundation of motivational interviewing techniques is built on the four fundamental processes.

  • Engaging is the primary foundation of this therapy technique. To be successful, there needs to be a mutual understanding between the therapist and the individual.
  • Focusing is important because the individual likely needs help focusing on things that will help them make better decisions in the future. Ultimately, this will lead to change.
  • Evoking is initiated by the therapist to steer the individual towards change.
  • Planning is a crucial part of motivational interviewing. This part of the process establishes goals and plans on how to accomplish those goals.

Combined, the four fundamental processes of motivational interviewing make this therapy technique very effective.

Insight into Action Therapy: Motivational Interviewing Therapy and More

At Insight Into Action Therapy, motivational interviewing therapy is just one of many therapy techniques offered. Other therapies include harm reduction, dual diagnosis, acceptance and commitment therapy, anger management and community reinforcement, and family training to name a few.

If you or a loved one needs the motivation to make healthier choices, please reach out to Insight Into Action Therapy 703.935.8544. One of our staff members will be happy to discuss motivation interviewing therapy and other therapies with you.