Have you ever felt like in order to get through the day you needed a “pep talk” from a friend? We all sometimes need a little extra push to get through the day. And we very rarely think of this kind of help as therapy, although it is undoubtedly therapeutic. One of the ways to think about motivational interviewing therapy is as the ultimate pep talk. But the best part is that you don’t just listen to the therapist in an individual therapy program — you end up motivating yourself.
Motivational interviewing therapy helps individuals tap into their motivations, strengthen their commitment to change, and set achievable goals. Thus, this therapeutic technique helps to break the cycle of starting, quitting, and restarting an attempt to make positive changes.
What is Motivational Interviewing Therapy?
A motivational interviewing therapy session is structured as an individual session: only you and your therapist or counselor will be present. However, consistent with the principles of “person-” or “client-centered” therapy, you are in control of the conversation. The interviewer will start the conversation by encouraging you to talk openly about what needs to change in your life. And you will also be encouraged to reflect on the reasons you would like those changes to happen and on practical ways that you can bring about that change.
The role of the interviewer from that point on is to listen. Their other job is to affirm what you are saying, and, perhaps most important, to repeat your motivations, goals, and resolutions back to you. In this way, you can hear your reasoning expressed back to you, which helps to strengthen your commitment to changing your life for the better, and helps you to arrive at practical methods of achieving that change and reasonable goals.