Home Motivation & Goals What is Motivational Interviewing Concept in Counselling?

What is Motivational Interviewing Concept in Counselling?

What is Motivational Interviewing Concept in Counselling?

In general, motivational interviewing seems like quizzing on someone’s desire for a given task. But, when it comes to psychological aspects, this is a counselling methodology which is influencing the clients to find their interests. And, it is something related to arousing intrinsic motivation to carry out the challenges.

Who investigated the motivational interviewing concept?

The talented psychologist companion is always resulting for advanced practices. Similarly, the famous two psychological partners are the inventors of this concept. They are the William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick.

As they first described, this concept is a client-centred counselling method. It means the interviewer does not forcefully influence the client at any point. So, what they do is eliciting the change inside their behaviour for positive motivation.

Thus, the clients usually realise what was the failures they had and what are the possible adaptations to overcome such failures in future at the end of the discussion.

But, since this is a specific technique of motivating someone, it needs enough practices in executing the technique. Thus, these two inventors have introduced key points and processes in this method.

Hence, if a counsellor is interested in positively arousing others motives, they should study deeply those points and processes. Otherwise, they may fail in developing relevant interpersonal skills to have a successful interviewing session at the counselling session.

What is the 4 Process in Motivational Interviewing?

As the inventors explain, the counsellor should follow four main steps when arousing the client for the desired action. If the examiner missed the order of those processes it will damage the self-esteem of the client to participate for the rest of the session. Since it offers the following benefits, the clinician must focus on the order, significance and means of each step in depth. It will help them to have greater outcomes at the end of the session.

But, under any circumstances that a trained counsellor should need a change in the order of steps, they can do it. Yet, each change should be explained under reasonable fact.

Benefits of following the four main processes of motivational interviewing!

It builds up trust between two parties. Thus, eventually, sharing ideas may become a random process. So, the client may behave confidently throughout the counselling session.

This positive behaviour towards the clinician will be a massive help to find out the influencing points through investigating the innate desires of the client. So, finally, the clinician can point out facts for positive changes easily for the clients’ hearts. And, the trust and confidence will direct them to understand the points easier by making a positive behavioural change.

4 Key Processes of Motivational Interviewing!

The following lines will describe how the initial engagement to the final step varying through a motivational interviewing session.

Make an engagement!

Often, clients will meet clinicians for a positive change after a long effort. And, in the beginning, they may have doubtful ideas on whether this will be a successful session or not. Thus, they are often lack of trust to express their ideas. If this doubtful status lasts for longer, the counsellor may fail in seeding positive thoughts.

The counsellors’ role in this step is mostly listening. It never recommends disturbing the clients while he is talking. And, it is suggestive to build up empathetic discussion towards the clients’ point. So, it will inflate trust between both parties to carry on the discussion. Often, this is the thing that such a client needed during a counselling session.

Focus on the negativities!

The second step is to clarify the unclear points in the client’s story. But, the counsellor never has a chance to throw them direct questions and suggestions. So, the focusing step should always be followed by open questions by using forms like “what”, ” how” and “when”.

It will let the client talk more and the counsellor should grab the needed points through their story without disturbing or questioning back.

While the discussion progressing, they also can direct the clients’ mind to make goals. Often, they can use questions like ” What if…”, “Yes, What will be next…”, ” Sure! What can you do?…”.

This discussion will let the client understand discrepancies and negativities. So, often, they may end up with their unique suggestion for a goal.

Evoking phase in Motivational Interviewing!

When the discussion extends up to these points, the client has goals or ideas to come up with challenges. But, still, they are seeking solutions or future steps. Hence, in this step, the counsellor can question “Why…”.

Since the client now has an intention to find out the solution they will often behave respectfully to disturbing questions. Yet, the arguments are still prohibited as the client should have confidence and trust to continue the discussion.

Planning for a Change!

Since now the client equipped with goals and solution, at this final step, the counsellor can arouse them to plan the next change in behaviour. Often, the counsellor has a huge role in this step.

The guidance given by this step may help the client to build up SMART goals. Here, the word SMART resembles specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound outcomes.


Motivational interviewing is a process of influencing the clients to make positive change through a friendly discussion. It is a client-centred counselling method. So, the counsellor has the biggest part in making engagement for an optimistic session. And, the counsellor should protect the data gathered confidentially. Further, since this is a medically and socially important approach, the counsellor should be qualified enough in mental therapies. Thus, counsellors should have enough understanding of what is motivation, what is happiness and even what is psychological education for advanced support.


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