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Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing in Santa Clara, Palo AltoDespite its corporate sounding name, Motivational Interviewing has nothing to do with making a great impression in an interview.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client focused, goal oriented therapy that focuses on resolving client’s ambivalence about behavior change.

MI was developed by William Miller as an evidence based technique to help recovering alcoholics. Miller and Stephen Rollnick expanded Motivational Interviewing to treat many aspects of behavioral and mental health as well as for chronic disease prevention.

Affirming Change for the Better

Unlike confrontational counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous, Motivational Interviewing focuses on the client’s pre-held beliefs and desire to change. The focus of the counseling style in Motivational Interviewing is to enhance, affirm, and enforce the client’s beliefs that they can change their life for the better. Motivational interviewing can be successful in creating and supporting changed behavior. MI can be especially effective for recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, and supporting the lifestyle and behavior adjustments necessary to ensure a continued recovery.

What to Expect From Motivational Interviewing

MI begins by recognizing the client’s motivation to change; no matter the level or commitment of that feeling. The clinician then works with the client to recognize inconsistencies between their current state and where they want to be. An action plan is developed which the client can commit to. The goal of the treatment is to recognize the client’s goals and priorities while recognizing and resolving the client’s ambivalence toward change. Uncertainty toward change is recognized as normal in motivational interviewing and its resolution is part of the process. While a person might have tried to alter their behavior and been unsuccessful in the past, during MI the clinician holds the client accountable to their beliefs. This accountability to act based on the client’s own reasoning enables the client to transform their life and stick to those changes.

Acceptance and Empowerment

The techniques used in MI are collaboration, evocation, and autonomy. The client and clinician are partners, building a trusting and comfortable rapport which focuses on mutual understanding.

The approach focuses on the client’s feelings and thoughts, which are not imposed on them by the clinician. The client’s own ideas on how to improve are the most evocative, and are the strongest base for making life changes, and are therefore the focus of Motivational Interviewing. MI recognizes that the power to change lies within the client and empowers the client to be responsible for their actions.

How to Get Help

If you are looking for support for yourself or a loved one, Dr. Weiss is here to help you make the commitment to stop using once and for all. She will accompany and encourage you as your ally throughout the process, using empathy, encouragement, and motivation.

To learn more about Motivational Interviewing for yourself or a loved one, read more at the Motivational Interviewing web site. Contact Dr. Weiss today to learn more and find out if Motivational Interviewing is for you. Call or fill out the contact form below and click Send.