Motivational Interviewing Basics

Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented method of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is intended to strengthen personal motivation for & commitment to a change goal by eliciting and exploring an individuals own arguments for change. This evidenced-based practice is used in numerous settings including: addictions & mental health care, primary care, emergency rooms, public health care, criminal justice, street outreach & shelters, and child welfare.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe communication styles and common ‘roadblocks’
  • Explain the core components of Motivational Interviewing as they apply
  • Identify instances of ‘change talk’ (things people might say about engaging in behavior change) versus ‘sustain talk’ (things people might verbalize about why or how they cannot change)
  • Introduce OARS technique 
  • Generate simple reflections which shift the momentum of an interaction toward change
  • Produce open-ended questions & complex reflections that strategically pull for statements about change