AIM for Change:
Awakening Inner Motivation


What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, guiding method of communication and counseling to elicit and strengthen
motivation for change

Motivational interviewing, first described by William Miller (1983), and later elaborated in the classic book—Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change (1991, 2002, 2013)—offers a practical, common sense approach for supporting clients in making and sustaining healthy behavior changes. Originally developed in the drug and alcohol field, over 800 clinical trials demonstrate the efficacy of MI across a range of populations, target behaviors, and medical conditions.

At its core, MI is not a unique or entirely new approach, but a combination of principles, skills, and strategies drawn from existing models of counseling and behavior change theory. Embracing an interpersonal style based on empathy, collaboration, and acceptance, the MI practitioner relies heavily on the use of strategic reflective listening as a means of eliciting clients’ strengths, inner wisdom, reasons for change, and ways of achieving it.

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Primary Goals of MI:

  Minimize Resistance
  Create and amplify, from the client’s perspective, a discrepancy between present behavior and his or her broader goals and values
  Explore and resolve ambivalence
  Elicit “change talk”

Set in motion the client’s natural change potential


Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith, MS, MINT Member (1994)
Trainer, Consultant, Mentor, Coach

© 2014 Steven Malcolm Berg-Smith - AIM for Change