Motivational Interviewing


Identify a weekly topic (Addiction) and research an Intersectional Approach to Therapy (Motivational Interviewing),  utilizing 2-3 professional and academic websites, journals, or books. Respond to the following questions in a reflective and in-depth way: 

  1. What important points did you learn about the evidence-based practices presented in your research? What stands out to you about the topic(s) covered?
  2. What I found most helpful: As a social work student, what was most beneficial to you about the techniques presented? What tools or perspectives did you find helpful and might you use in your own work? What challenged you to think about something in a new way?  
  3. What does NOT make sense: What principles/techniques/interventions did not make sense to you? Did anything push your buttons or bring about a sense of resistance in you, or just not fit with your own style of working?  
  4. How I would do it differently: What might you do differently when starting work with clients? Be specific about what different approaches, interventions, and techniques you would apply?  
  5. Other questions/reactions: What questions or reactions did you have during your research on your selected topic? Other comments, thoughts, or feelings?


Motivational Interviewing

                                                      Question 1

After reflecting on motivational interviewing (MI) in addiction treatment, I learned that this approach uses different techniques to identify and promote the client’s inherent motivation to change. Moreover, in addiction treatment, this therapeutic approach encourages a self-actualization process that enables the clients to determine their own fate.  According to Bundy (2004), this approach is a client-based form of counseling; its main focus is the client’s desires. What the therapist believes or thinks is best for the client is not significant in this therapy approach.  For instance, while approaching tobacco-related behaviors, the MI sessions aim at developing an empathetic, autonomy-supportive, and collaborative environment focused on learning the client’s ambivalence about changing and smoking.

Since motivation is essential in addiction treatment, in the 1980s, there was a prevailing thought that confrontation was the best approach to address a lack of motivation.  During this approach, the professional would establish a list of reasons why the client needed to change, list the negatives linked to lack of change, and pressure the client to change to gain motivation.

Contrary, what stands out about MI in addiction treatments is that this approach invites a non-confrontational and collaborative effort between the counselor and the client to develop motivation and initiate the change. Instead of acting in a combative way, the therapist explores the client’s feelings using a collaborative way and guide them in finding their own motivations (Yeager, 2002).

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