Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic approach designed to assist people in finding the motivation to make positive changes in their lives. 

Motivational Interviewing Therapy in Metairie, LA

Motivational Interviewing

As opposed to confrontation models, motivational interviewing encourages a collaboration between the therapist and the client to join together in finding realistic, proactive solutions for problematic behaviors. This therapeutic approach fosters self-empowerment in the client to take charge of his/her life and accept responsibility for change. 

Motivational Interviewing in Metairie, LA

More About Motivational Interviewing

Therapists using motivational interviewing will generally stick to the following principles to guide them:

Encourage self-efficacy
Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that he/she can accomplish a certain set of target goals and behaviors. The therapist will guide the client in his/her behaviors, and offer constructive feedback and encouragement along the way.

Express empathy
Especially when dealing with problematic behaviors, many clients will fear judgment and feel guilt when exploring the details of these behaviors. The counselor using motivational interviewing will focus on the behavior from the client’s point of view to better understand the motivating factors behind the unwanted actions.

Develop discrepancy
Once a client can see the contrast between certain behaviors or courses of action, he or she can be in a better position to objectively determine which behavior is more beneficial to them, a skill critical to making better decisions in the future.

Expect resistance and roll with it
Change is difficult, and when exploring automatic, habitual behaviors, there will likely be resistance to changing those behaviors for a multitude of reasons. Rather than opposing or criticizing, the therapist will instead reframe or offer different viewpoints of the behaviors, helpfully playing devil’s advocate to elicit new understanding of the problematic situation(s), and thereby further pave the way to possible change.

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We offer compassionate care, meeting each client exactly where he/she is, while simultaneously providing direct feedback and encouraging results-focused, action-oriented, meaningful change to leave clients feeling empowered, confident, and more certain in their day-to-day life experiences and relationships. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions and answers we receive regarding Motivational Interviewing. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us by calling 504–315-2420.

Motivational interviewing is a client-centered approach used in psychotherapy and counseling to enhance motivation and resolve ambivalence towards behavior change. It involves a collaborative and empathetic conversation between the therapist and the client, aiming to elicit and strengthen the client’s own motivation for change.

Motivational interviewing differs from other therapeutic approaches in its focus on exploring and resolving ambivalence about change. Instead of directly persuading or confronting the client, the therapist employs active listening, empathy, and reflective questioning to help the client discover their own reasons and motivations for change.

Motivational interviewing is guided by several key principles, including:

  • Expressing empathy: The therapist demonstrates a genuine and nonjudgmental understanding of the client’s experiences, perspectives, and feelings.

  • Developing discrepancy: The therapist helps the client explore the discrepancy between their current behaviors and their desired goals, highlighting the reasons for change.

  • Rolling with resistance: Instead of opposing or confronting resistance, the therapist acknowledges and explores it further, seeking to understand the client’s perspective and foster collaboration.

  • Supporting self-efficacy: The therapist cultivates the client’s belief in their ability to make positive changes by emphasizing their strengths, past successes, and available resources.

Motivational interviewing utilizes several techniques, including:

  • Open-ended questions: These encourage clients to elaborate and explore their thoughts and feelings, fostering a deeper understanding of their motivations.

  • Reflective listening: The therapist paraphrases and summarizes the client’s statements to demonstrate understanding and provide the opportunity for the client to reflect on their own words.

  • Affirmations: The therapist offers genuine and specific affirmations to acknowledge the client’s strengths, efforts, and positive qualities, helping to build confidence and self-belief.

  • Summarizing: The therapist periodically summarizes the key points discussed during the session, reinforcing the client’s motivations and highlighting the potential for change.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this. Some clients experience relief after just one session; others may find it takes several sessions just to become comfortable enough to engage in the therapeutic process. The good news is, there is no right or wrong time-frame. Your therapist will adjust to your needs and proceed at the pace that fits your current situation.