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Motivational interviewing is a patient-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change in order to improve the patient's health (DiLillo & West, 2011).

Formal Definition
"Motivational interviewing is a collaborative, goal oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to stimulate personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person's own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion" (Miller & Rollnick, 2012).

Module Introduction

This module presents the fundamentals of motivational interviewing. The focus is on its use to help patients quit or reduce harmful substance use, but it can be applied to other health behavior change as well. Adaptations required for the medical setting are also discussed.

Each skill is illustrated with brief examples. Interactive case scenarios are then presented to help learners integrate and apply the skills learned.

Ms. Gold
Ms. Gold has been drinking heavily and is afraid she is becoming an alcoholic, but she has difficulty talking about it.
How can you build a therapeutic alliance and help her?
Mr. Kilpatrick
Mr. Kilpatrick has been referred by the court for drug counseling, but he resents being required to participate.
How can you engage him in his drug counseling despite his resistance?
View ReferencesHide References
DiLillo V , West DS. Motivational interviewing for weight loss . Psychiatric Clinics of North America . 2011; 34: 861-869. Available at: Accessed on: 2015-05-27.
Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. Applications of Motivational Interviewing Series. New York: Guilford Press.. 2012; 3rd edition: . Available at: Accessed on: 2014-07-08.