Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence. In MI, the effectiveness of counseling isn’t all down to the counselor nor is it completely within the control of the client, according to research.

Extra-Therapeutic Client Factors (40 percent of effectiveness).
These include the client’s personal strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics including beliefs and attitudes; and also factors in the client’s environment that help or hinder.

How the therapist can help: Identify and talk about strengths while helping client to deal with weaknesses. Tailor solutions to client’s beliefs and values.

Therapeutic Relationship (30 percent of effectiveness).
Empathy, warmth, acceptance (i.e. Rogerian factors) perceived by client.

How the therapist can help: Be warm and empathic. Address issues the client wants to deal with i.e. work with the client’s goals rather than those of your theoretical model. Be collaborative – don’t dictate.

Realistic Hope (15 percent of effectiveness).
This refers to the client’s hopefulness about the outcome and the possibility of improvement.

How the therapist can help: Communicate hopefulness about what can be achieved. Don’t get stuck in the past – look also at what is possible now and in the future.

Model of Counseling (15 percent of effectiveness).
Using the right approach for the particular client or situation. The approach should be tailored to the client’s needs, beliefs and strengths.

How the therapist can help: Be willing to change the approach/model to suit the needs of the client on the day.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is an approach born from MI.

Click this link to view the Motivational Interviewing website.

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