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Decoding Therapy: Motivational Interviewing


The need to change staring you in the face? Motivational Interviewing can help you feel ready to make that change.

This is part 2 in my blog series “Decoding Therapy”, an introduction to the types of therapy I utilize in my practice.


Who hasn’t struggled with change? So often we know what we need to change to improve our lives and health, but it feels impossible to do. We are left stuck in our old habits. We can lose all desire to change and grow. Motivational Interviewing is one tool to help you remove these mental and emotional barriers blocking growth and change.


Motivational Interviewing is a counseling technique used to help people move towards making positive change by exploring the feelings that leave them stuck (also known as ambivalence). A therapist using this technique will explore these feelings with you, as well as help you feel more motivated and ready to commit to the changes that you are making.


One of the central tenets of Motivational Interviewing is to meet you where you are in your journey. Therapists who use Motivational Interviewing believe that everyone is at a different stage of readiness to change and that non-judgmental support is more helpful than any “should” in moving forward towards change. “Shoulds”, like “I should be over this already” or “You should have done this before now”, are not really helpful. On the contrary, “shoulds” can make us feel bad about ourselves and increase ambivalence.


Motivational Interviewing is goal-oriented and tends to be briefer in nature than other types of therapy. However, it is often used in conjunction with other modes of therapy or to help people ready themselves for treatment. It has been shown to be particularly helpful for people seeking treatment for alcohol, substance use, or issues related to chronic disease.


As with all the therapies I use in my practice, Motivational Interviewing is way of collaborating to address your needs and goals. It can be a great tool to increase your confidence and empower you to feel better able to transform your life.

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© 2019 by Anna Poss, LCPC

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