Introduction to motivational interviewing

Professor Janet Treasure and Dr Pam Macdonald

90 minutes


October 2015

Learning module

CPD domain:

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This module is an introduction to motivational interviewing (MI), a patient-centred and gently directive interaction style used to negotiate behaviour change.

Initially, motivational interviewing was developed as a tool to work with people with alcohol problems but it can be used for any situation in which there is ambivalence about change. Within psychiatry, this approach has been applied to people with dual diagnosis, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders and anxiety, and to improve treatment adherence in psychosis.

In this module, we give an overview of:

  • what MI is and how it is relevant to psychiatry,
  • the evidence for the efficacy of MI and how it links to behavioural theory,
  • tools and techniques for practising MI,
  • when and with whom MI should be used,
  • how MI can be used in clinical practice.


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