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Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal and is a critical driving force in human behavior. Motivation encompasses the willingness to strive toward a meaningful, purposeful life continually. The absence of motivation can lead to mental health disorders, including depression. Motivation and its differences between individuals are at the core of motivational psychology. Motivational interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based therapy that addresses an individual’s ambivalence to change. MI is a critical component of mental health treatment programs because treatment is ineffective if individuals are not motivated to change.

Harmony Hills is a residential mental health treatment center. On our 80-acre rural campus outside of Tampa, Florida, we provide an array of mental health treatment programs and therapeutic approaches like motivational interviewing. Treatment is customized to meet each client’s unique needs. Reach out to our team at 855.494.0357 to learn about our comprehensive, evidence-based, holistic approach to mental health treatment.

women smiling in motivational interviewingWhat is Motivational Interviewing (MI)?

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a widely recognized evidence-based treatment that strengthens motivation and commitment to change. Initially developed for substance use disorder treatment, MI has quickly spread into other areas, including healthcare, social work, criminal justice, schools, and mental health treatment.

MI is a conversational therapy designed to help people with the following:

  • Discovering their interest in considering and making a change in their life
  • Expressing their desire for change in their own words
  • Examining their ambivalence about change
  • Planning for and beginning the process of change
  • Extracting and strengthening change-talk
  • Enhancing their confidence in taking action and recognizing that even small changes are good
  • Reinforcing their commitment to change

Research shows that motivational interviewing works exceptionally well with individuals who are initially unmotivated or unprepared to change. MI can also be used to prepare individuals for future mental health therapies.

The Core Principles of Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Ambivalence is a natural state of uncertainty that accompanies most change processes. It occurs because of conflicting feelings about the process and outcomes of change. Motivational interviewing is based on a set of principles designed to guide the therapist, including:

  • Express empathy – Create a supportive environment to make the client feel accepted and respected while engaging in reflective listening rather than confrontation.
  • Avoid argumentation – Avoid attacking the client or their behavior to prevent defensiveness and resistance.
  • Develop discrepancy – Direct attention toward the client’s desired state of being and the actual state of being to recognize how current behaviors detract from achieving goals.
  • Roll with resistance – Diffuse resistance through reflective listening or simply going along with what the client says without confronting it.
  • Support self-efficacy – Help clients develop awareness of their ability to undertake the actions needed for change successfully.

MI is non-confrontational and nonjudgmental. The first goal of MI is to increase the person’s motivation, and the second is to get them to verbalize their commitment to change. Instead of teaching specific skills or guiding clients through a change process, the MI therapist assumes that clients have the resources needed for change and helps them implement these resources to achieve the desired outcome.

Discover Motivational Interviewing Near Tampa, Florida, at Harmony Hills

Located outside Tampa, Florida, Harmony Hills is a residential mental health treatment center offering various therapies to foster recovery. In addition to motivational interviewing (MI), we offer:

Reaching out for help is the first step toward recovery. If you have been thinking about mental health treatment but lack the motivation, MI can help. Do not let the fear of the unknown prevent you from receiving the mental health treatment you deserve. Our team is available around the clock, seven days a week. Contact Harmony Hills with questions about treatment and how you can benefit from therapies like MI. Use our online form or call 855.494.0357.

Clinically Reviewed By:
Melinda Marino, LCSW, QS

Melinda Marino, LCSW, is a distinguished mental health professional based in Florida, boasting a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work from the prestigious University of Central Florida. With two decades of expertise in the field, and a decade of Licensed Expertise, Melinda's journey includes a pivotal two-year role at Harmony Hills, where she ascended from Clinical Director to the esteemed position of Executive Director within a year. Her exceptional leadership has not only fostered growth within the team and organization but also exemplifies her unwavering commitment to excellence. Beyond her professional endeavors, Melinda finds fulfillment as an avid Cheer Mom, balancing her dedication to her family with her passion for community engagement.