Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

Image of sign saying motivation, representing the ability to motivate people to change behaviour by using motivational interviewing

Much of health care today involves helping patients manage conditions whose outcome can be greatly influenced by behaviour or lifestyle change.

Motivational Interviewing is a patient-centred approach that has been extensively evaluated in randomised controlled trials. It is proven to be effective in a wide range of client groups and issues. It can promote behaviour change in a wide range of healthcare settings. E.g. Diabetic & Mental Health Services.


"Motivational Interviewing" was originally developed by William R. Miller in the USA to help people change addictive behaviours. It has more recently been found to be useful in helping people make other changes in their lives including health behaviours. M.I. uses core skills common to other counselling and therapeutic approaches. These skills are used in a structured way to help clients to explore any ambivalence about change, to elicit from them positive statements about the possibility of change and to help them move to action.

 M.I. practitioners acknowledge that feeling ambivalence is completely normal, we can often want to change and stay the same simultaneously! By facilitating the client to face up to and explore this internal conflict they aim to enable resolution. This approach is goal orientated and the counsellor works in a focussed way to help the client work out what she or he really wants to do about a particular behaviour change. 

Put simply, Motivational Interviewing can enable you to, use a guiding rather than directing style, develop strategies to elicit the client's own motivation to change, and refine your listening skills and respond by encouraging change talk.

The Aim

The aim of the "Introduction to Motivational Interviewing" training session is to provide an introduction to the basic concepts and methods of MI. This course is useful for any healthcare professional who spends time encouraging patients to change. This course will provide "a taste" of M.I, through exercises and discussion.


By the end of this course, delegates will ;

1.  Understand the concept and theory of Motivational Interviewing and how it can positivity affect clients.

2. Have explored the 4 key steps involved, namely; expressing empathy, developing discrepancy, rolling with resistance         

    and supporting self efficacy.

3. Experience, through group work, some of the techniques involved with Motivational Interviewing.

4. Know how to further their learning around M.I. with self study or additional courses.


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