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Motivational Interviewing

  1. Steve Martino

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0563

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Martino, S. 2010. Motivational Interviewing. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Yale University School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Motivational interviewing (MI; Miller & Rollnick, 2002) is a client-centered, goal-directed, brief treatment approach for helping people prepare for behavior change by building their intrinsic motivation and strengthening their commitment to a change process. It is one of the most well defined and rigorously studied psychotherapeutic interventions for substance use disorders, with a growing empirical base for its application in a variety of other behavioral areas. Four key principles and a style of interaction called the “MI spirit” guide the strategic application of two sets of techniques: (1) fundamental client-centered counseling strategies for developing a highly empathic environment in which clients may discuss their behavioral problems; and (2) direct methods for eliciting client statements that support behavior change (referred to as “change talk”). Many resources and training methods exist for teaching therapists how to practice MI. This article covers each of these areas in detail.


  • motivational interviewing;
  • client-centered;
  • brief treatment;
  • behavior change;
  • substance abuse treatment