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What is Motivational Interviewing?

  • Stephen Rollnick (a1) and William R. Miller (a2)

Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centred counselling style for eliciting behaviour change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. It is most centrally defined not by technique but by its spirit as a facilitative style for interpersonal relationship. This article seeks to define motivational interviewing and to characterize its essential nature, differentiating it from other approaches with which it may be confused. A brief update is also provided regarding (1) evidence for its efficacy and (2) new problem areas and populations to which it is being applied.

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G. Agostinelli , J. M. Brown and W. R. Miller (1995). Effects of normative feedback on consumption among heavy drinking college students. Journal of Drug Education 25, 3140.

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J. M. Brown and W. R. Miller (1993). Impact of motivational interviewing on participation and outcome in residential alcoholism treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviours 7, 211218.

H. Holder , R. Longabaugh , W. R. Miller and A. V. Rubonis (1991). The cost effectiveness of treatment for alcoholism: a first approximation. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 52, 517540.

V. Kuchipudi , K. Hobein , A. Fleckinger and F. L. Iber (1990). Failure of a 2–hour motivational intervention to alter recurrent drinking behaviour in alcoholics with gastrointestinal disease. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 51, 356360.

W. R. Miller , R. G. Benefield and J. S. Tonigan (1993). Enhancing motivation for change in problem drinking: a controlled comparison of two therapist styles. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61, 455461.

Project MATCH Research Group (1993). Project MATCH: Rationale and methods for a multisite clinical trial matching patients to alcoholism treatment. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 17, 11301145.

S. Rollnick , A. Bell and N. Heather (1992). Negotiating behaviour change in medical settings: the development of brief motivational interviewing. Journal of Mental Health 1, 2537.

S. Rollnick , P. Kinnersley and N. Stott (1993). Methods of helping patients with behaviour change. British Medical Journal 307, 188190.

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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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