Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Contact: Harry Gerowe MS, LADC, CCDP, SCPG , 860-306-1532,

Motivational Interviewing is “a particular way of talking with people about change and growth to strengthen their own motivation and commitment” (pp. 3, Miller & Rollnick, 2023).

In its fourth iteration, Motivational Interviewing (MI) was developed by William R. Miller, PhD and Stephen Rollnick, PhD. Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based, goal oriented, and person-centered counseling style that aims to help individuals explore and resolve their ambivalence about behavior change. It combines relational elements (partnership, acceptance, compassion, & empowerment) with technical skills (open questions, affirmations, reflections, & summary statements) to foster change and growth. There are four overarching tasks the encompass MI: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning. These tasks are interwoven in the therapeutic relationship and help to facilitate progress towards an individual’s stated goals. An important tenet of MI is that an individual’s motivation to change is fostered by working together instead of through confrontation or unsolicited advice giving. Additionally, Motivational Interviewing is compatible with other means of helping, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and well suited for engaging culturally diverse populations.

Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2023). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change and grow (4th ed.). Guilford Press.


Helpful Resources

1. Tour of MI from the ATTC: is a self-paced online course.

Tour of Motivational Interviewing: An Interprofessional Roadmap for Behavior Change | Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network (

2. Motivational Interviewing & Beyond (webinars by content experts):

3. Talking to Change - A Motivational Interviewing Podcast (podcasts on a variety of topics and its relation to MI):

4. Institute for Research, Education, & Training in Addictions (section dedicated to MI, including webinars, demonstration videos, print resources, and online courses):

5. SAMHSA – TIP 35: Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Use Disorder Treatment:

This updated TIP includes the latest evidence on motivation-enhancing approaches and strategies and describes how substance use disorder treatment providers can use these approaches and strategies to increase participation and retention in substance use disorder treatment (document can be downloaded from above link).

6. Sunovion360 Motivational Interviewing Toolkit: introduces key concepts and provides short videos that show how this approach can help promote patient engagement and help overcome barriers to adherence.