Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a psychotherapeutic approach that attempts to move an individual away from a state of indecision or uncertainty and towards finding the motivation to making positive decisions and accomplishing established goals.

Motivation is essential for progression in addiction treatment, while a lack of motivation can serve as a major hurdle. In the early 1980s, the prevailing thought was that lack of motivation needed to be addressed in therapy through confrontation. During this process, the therapist would list reasons why the change was needed, state the negatives associated with lack of change, and pressure the person to change as a means to gain motivation.


Motivational interviewing was created with addiction in mind, but the principles are applied to a range of mental health and physical health issues like:

  • Gambling problems.
  • Prescription drug abuse.
  • Illicit drug abuse.
  • Pornography or sexual addictions.