Can someone explain Motivational interviewing?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Motivational Interviewing is a guidance and counseling approach model studied by Miller and Rollnick (2002), where the role of the guidance counselor, or prison counselor, is geared more toward making the inmate feel accepted and not judged in order to instill in the inmate a natural want (motivation) for change.

When using motivational interviewing, the counselor is patient, reflective, and passive. The inmate has the chance to express any kind of emotion with the safety that there will be no judging involved. The counselor will paraphrase and re-tell what the inmate expresses as a mirroring technique, without letting any personal opinion come through. All that the counselor will do in situations of motivational interviewing is be a source of complete support and understanding in order to avoid deflecting or avoiding the real issues that are ruining the life of the inmate.

This method of counseling is used in situations where the client must undergo a change, from negative to positive, and has met previously with barricades or abrasive forms of intervention that have placed the client on a very defensive side. Examples are substance abuse patients, prison inmates, prostitutes, rebellious teenagers, and anger-management patients.

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