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NREPP Learning Center. (2017) Motivational Interviewing for behavioral health conditions. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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Motivational interviewing (MI) is a form of goal-oriented psychotherapy, in which clinicians help clients overcome their ambivalence or lack of motivation toward changing their behavior in positive ways. MI is a method of communication, not a set of techniques, for “eliciting the person’s intrinsic motivation for change” (Miller & Rollnick, 2002, p. 25).

The MI approach originated as a treatment for people with substance use disorders, particularly alcohol use disorder (Miller, 1983), and in response to the “disparaging manner” (Miller & Rollnick, 2013, p. 8) in which practitioners had traditionally treated people with substance use disorders. Miller and Rollnick (2013) stated that even into the 1980s, “addiction treatment in the United States was often highly authoritarian, confrontational, even demeaning, relying on a heavily directing style of counseling” (p. 8). MI, on the other hand, embraces the tenets of humanistic psychology, a school of thought predicated on the innate goodness of people, which stresses relationship building between clinician and client. ....

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Guideline, Report
Drug Type
All substances, Behavioural addiction
Intervention Type
Treatment method, Psychosocial treatment method
8 p.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Corporate Creators
NREPP Learning Center
Place of Publication
Rockville, MD

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