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Motivational interviewing (MI) is a counseling style that integrates an empathic, non-confrontational style of counseling with powerful behavioral strategies for helping clients convince themselves that they ought to change.

MI is directive, but uses instruction as only a part of the counseling relationship.

What would have to happen to make it more important?

Client: I think if I had another DUI and lost my driver’s license that might get my attention. I could try what my best friend is doing, to go to one AA meeting just to see what it’s like.

It sounds like a good idea, but by the end of your work day, you’re tired and it’s hard to be motivated to exercise. On one hand you have good reasons to make the change, but there are other equally compelling reasons not to.

You are ambivalent about change, even if it is in your best interest.

“I’d like to make that change, but…” When you hear ambivalence, you are also hearing change talk.


Clinician: Can you give me three good reasons why you might consider changing your drinking?Clinician: What do you think you’ll do about changing your drinking? In each of these conversations, the clinician responded with reflective statements, which summarize the change talk statements the client made.


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