Developed by Miller and Rollnick, Motivational Interviewing (MI) addresses motivation for change within the client by addressing the positives and negatives of change. By increasing intrinsic motivation, client is expected to experience a change in behavior as well.

It is primarily used to treat addictions and unhealthy behaviors, especially for individuals who are not prepared to change their behaviors (see Precontemplation in the Transtheoretical Model of Change).


Motivational Interviewing is short-term, directive, and client-centered. Therapist and client work as collaborators in recognizing client’s ambivalence to change, perceptions of current issues, and goals for future behaviors.

First step in MI is to increase motivation and prepare for change. This is useful the Precontemplation stage of change (see Transtheoretical Model of Change). This is followed by establishing and strengthening the commitment to change the behaviors by setting goals, making plans, and overcoming obstacles. The is useful in the Contemplation stage of change (see Transtheoretical Model of Change).