Have you ever walked away from a long, meaningful conversation with a friend and felt rejuvenated or lighter. Did you feel fully and completely listened to? Free of judgment? At the end of this conversation, you might have felt motivated to go after something, follow a dream, or make a change. This is the basis of Motivational Interviewing.
While it is great if you have a friend who can regularly offer you this type of service, unfortunately, most of us don’t have someone we can always turn to for judgment-free, heartfelt, open conversation. This is why Motivational Interviewing has become a technique used commonly by mental health professionals.
Motivational Interviewing is most commonly used to help clients feel more motivated to make a behavior change. It is an evidence-based approach designed to encourage clients to talk themselves into making positive, beneficial changes in their lives. It can be a great tool for a person who feels stuck, unhappy, unsure of their future, and unmotivated to move forward.
Believe You Can Change
Motivational Interviewing is based on the proven theory that a person will make a change if they believe they can make that change. All too often we have a little voice in our heads that tells us we don’t need to make a change or we are not capable of such a change. That’s why it can be helpful to be asked the right questions to help change our perspective.
This counseling approach is patient-centered. It is catered to each individual person. What worked for the person before you might not work the same for you. Your therapist will take the time to get to know you, to truly listen, to learn about your core beliefs and your desires. The goal is to provide an environment where you feel completely comfortable and open to share.
The counseling professional acts as a guide. You lead the conversation. They will help to guide you by asking the right questions, allowing you to come to conclusions and decisions on your own.
Once you establish what/if you want to change, you will solidify your reasons for making the change, and your counselor will help you to develop a plan that works with your life. Together you will determine possible next steps that feel within reach so you are in the driver’s seat.
One theory about why Motivational Interviewing works is that when we hear ourselves talk about change it tends to increase our motivation to make that change. Having a person who is listening to us talk about this change, offering empathy and support, and boosting confidence in our ability to change, is key to moving forward.
Motivational Interviewing requires you to be an active participant. A counselor is not there to tell you what to do. You need to come to that conclusion on your own.
Motivational Interviewing involves:
- Open-ended questions such as how does that make you feel? Why do you think you feel that way? What do you think you can do to feel better? What do you think needs to happen? How might you do that?
- Affirming statements: A counselor will identify strengths and skills that might help you achieve that change. They will help to point out your abilities and validate your emotions.
- Reflective listening: The counselor will repeat back to you what they hear you saying. It gives you a new perspective and encourages you to keep talking.
- Summarizing: The counselor and you will work together to summarize key points and determine the next course of action.
Motivational Interviewing can be a great tool to help you make positive changes in your life. If you are interested in seeing if it will work for you, we would be happy to talk to you in more detail at Rooted & Rising.
Ready to begin counseling in PA?
The professionally trained and licensed counselors at Rooted & Rising Therapy in Bridgeville have openings. Our practice specializes in treating individuals through years of experience, we’re confident that no problem is too great to overcome. Through therapy, there is always a way to address the issues you face and learn coping strategies to help you both right now and in the future. Just call our office at (412) 228-8489 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started to feeling better today. We are here for you.