Many individuals struggle with breaking habits that they know are unhealthy. Making big changes in your life can be difficult and overwhelming. But when we think about making change, the process and what is required can feel daunting. Motivational interviewing harnesses ambivalence you may be experiencing about changing unhelpful patterns and taps into internal motivation to create lasting change. This therapeutic modality helps individuals discover motivation to change patterns and behaviors that are preventing them from making choices that are in alignment with their values and goals. Sometimes it’s not enough to pick up a self-help book, because hearing others tell us what we must do to change can only feel frustrating. We may know what changes need to be made, but don’t know how to take action so that they actually happen. Motivational interviewing provides the boost of inspiration that helps you step into your journey of change.
Your therapist will help you explore what change would look like in your life, and your own reasons for desiring that change. The process of motivational interviewing is highly collaborative. This process helps you extract your own sense of meaning; it connects you to the well of inspiration that sits inside of you, even if you can’t feel it. Through tapping into your own experience and goals, you can harness your own motivation to make changes that you have been yearning for but have been unable to propagate. This process makes you the instigator of your own positive change, and empowerment is a natural result. This method thus leads you toward a more fulfilled life. The goal of motivational interviewing is to increase an individual’s motivation to create change and then take specific actions to accomplish this change.
The process of motivational interviewing is broken down into four key processes that oversee the flow of dialogue. The processes are:
- Engaging. Throughout motivational interviewing, the individual feels heard. Their experience and perspective are understood and reflected.
- Focusing. The individual and practitioner agree on a goal. The conversation is then steered toward the direction of the agreed-upon goal to inspire a sense of purpose.
- Evoking. The practitioner helps the individual start building a sense of inner inspiration, their sense of “why.” The individual is able to identify their key motivators while understanding their own approach to change.
- Planning. The practitioner helps the individual create a goal-oriented process for implementing change. This plan is entirely customized to the individual’s personality, needs, and timing.
Generally, motivational interviewing is helpful for those who are uncertain about change or feel unprepared to change their lives for the better. It has been used to support a wide range of conditions, including overall health and fitness, substance abuse, mental health disorders, addictions, parenting, relationships, and adherence to other treatments. This process provides clear markers of progress so that change can be measured and experienced by you and your practitioner. Motivational interviewing is facilitated in an environment that values compassion and acceptance, to support the vulnerability that often accompanies conversation about change.
Practitioners at Colorado CBT are able to support Denver residents with motivational interviewing. To get started, reach out to make an appointment.