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Motivational Interviewing in Psychology Essay

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Updated: Oct 18th, 2021

I understand the basic concept behind motivational interviewing is to motivate clients toward exploring and resolving ambivalence. For this to happen, the therapist needs to be more patient in his/her approach towards the client’s attitude. To be precise, understanding the client’s problems, the client’s perceived problems of respective behavior, and the factors that act in favor or against his/her motivation towards change is vital to be a successful motivational interviewer. In order to achieve compliance with the client’s expectations and act accordingly as per the requirements of the motivational interviewing method, I want to organize my practice with respect to three aspects, namely, personal preparedness, focusing on environmental factors, and understanding client needs and motivating accordingly.

Personal Preparedness

I consider the fact that I need to be able to prepare myself in view of certain criteria that are meant for motivational interviewing.

  • Though motivational interviewing involves confronting clients with the factors of reality, I should not be aggressive in my behavior.
  • Understanding the fact that I should not try to argue with the client, I tend to adopt a seemingly passive attitude in my counseling.
  • As the counselor needs to encourage the client towards taking his/her own decisions, I will not direct bits of advice or provide solutions without the client’s permission.
  • I do realize that the client needs to be given an active role during counseling sessions.
  • I have to be more patient and allow the client to discuss than to interfere with his expressions and prescribe my ideas about his/her attitudes.
  • I will not be tempted towards a hasty diagnosis of a patient’s condition.

I try to adopt a behavior that will allow me to follow the above-stated points. It will not

be a difficult task for me, owing to my natural attitude of being patient while listening to others. However, I need to strengthen my resolve in order not to overcome my intention towards maintaining a client-oriented approach by loss of patience and active directions for clients towards certain behavioral changes.

Environmental Factors

I view this aspect in two dimensions. Firstly, it is necessary to understand the factors in the client’s life that are somehow affecting his/her intention to change. Also, I think that the ambiance of the counseling area needs to be motivating for the client towards expressing himself/herself freely without any hesitations.

I should look after this aspect in the following manner.

  • I will take care to maintain my practicing area to be more quiet and soothing, so that the patient may not feel any apprehensions.
  • To the extent possible, I will make sure that approaching the counseling area is hassle-free. To be precise, I can set up my office on the ground floor of a building than making the client move up to the 10 or 11th floor. It may help deal with elderly clients or clients with certain physical disabilities.
  • I will try to create an opinion in the client that I am always approachable to him/her.

As a whole, my personal attitude and my practice ambiance will be maintained towards

creating a positive attitude in clients, which makes them consider meeting me as and when needed.

Coming to interactions with the client, I will treat each client as a different case and implement my approach accordingly. I will focus on motivating clients through standard activities.

Open-ended questions

To understand client’s problems and intentions more precisely, it is necessary to make them speak elaborately by giving them adequate chances to do that. To that end, I’ll focus on asking open-ended questions and encourage the client to discuss the issues related to his/her problem.

  • Instead of stopping the client before he/she finishes talking about something, I’ll wait until they express themselves completely with respect to a particular question.
  • I will maintain sufficient gaps between questions so as to make the client feel that the session is not like a formal interview but an opportunity to express his/her feelings.
  • As my responsibility is to encourage patient towards a desirable change by himself/herself, than to direct him/her aggressively towards that persons, I will let them speak freely so that they can analyze issues by themselves.

By doing as mentioned above, I will not only understand the client’s problems completely

But also make the client involved and focused. Apart from these, I will be a reflective listener, so that I can perceive whatever is told by the client with more accuracy.


Encouraging the client towards a desirable behavior requires praising any his/her qualities and/or activities towards achieving it. For it makes the client motivated to act further in that direction. Hence, I will focus on recognizing the client’s positive qualities and efforts to change as a tool to create a desire for increased efforts.

  • I do realize the change should come within the patient. For that, he/she needs to be motivated towards achieving it through proper encouragement for his/her efforts.
  • Resistance may develop on the client’s side, if the sessions are conducted rigidly, without giving hope for the client derived from his/her efforts that he/she has been trying to do something positive and/or able to change towards a better attitude.

Apart from the above points, I will try to focus on correlating various issues mentioned

by the client pertaining to his/her problem, so as to analyze relevant points and focus on them particularly.


All in all, I realize that motivational interviewing should be focused on bringing change from within the client than directing him/her aggressively. Accordingly, I will focus on understanding the client’s problems, analyzing their relevance with regards to respective behavioral change, and motivating the client accordingly.

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1. IvyPanda. "Motivational Interviewing in Psychology." October 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivational-interviewing-in-psychology/.


IvyPanda. "Motivational Interviewing in Psychology." October 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivational-interviewing-in-psychology/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Motivational Interviewing in Psychology." October 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivational-interviewing-in-psychology/.


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