Supporting Change through Motivational Interviewing

Deb Chilcoat

Deb Chilcoat

Motivational interviewing (a.k.a. MI) is gaining a robust evidence-base and practitioners are enthusiastically integrating it in program implementation.

According to Miller and Rollnick (2013) “Motivational interviewing is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.” (Miller W. R. & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, 3rd Ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.)

What’s the “flow of motivational interviewing?” (Miller and Rollnick, 2013, p. 26) How can it be used to support behavior change?

Well, it is not a one-two-punch and Voila! the behavior is changed (Miller and Rollnick, 2013). Changing behavior takes time, persistence, practice, and support. This is true for the person desiring to change his/her behavior, and it is true of practitioners of motivational interviewing. If you have never integrated MI into your work, you, too, are on a journey to change behavior.

Miller and Rollnick identify the four processes as engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning.


So how does it work, to go through these four processes, in the real world? How can you use motivational interviewing to support and engage with the others?

Sign up for the Healthy Teen Network webinar on March 4 at 3pm ET, A Journey to Change Behavior: Using Motivational Interviewing to Enhance Programs, with presenters Deborah Chilcoat, MEd, and Mousumi Banikya-Leaseburg, MD, MPH, CPH.

Deborah Chilcoat, MEd, is a Senior Training and Technical Assistance Manager at Healthy Teen Network.

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