How Important Is Motivational Interviewing?

How Important Is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is designed to “meet people where they are.” Levels of motivation and commitment vary for each individual. At Hammocks on the Edisto, we recognize that, and our approach is to recognize the strengths of a person and allow them to bring those strengths to the process of change. Change is a process, and the process can come in stages. The motivational interviewing model supports the client’s pace to change and is a philosophy and spirit that empowers an individual to take ownership in their recovery.

At Hammocks on the Edisto, our professional staff uses multiple therapeutic modalities that will help you rediscover your strength. Call 833.793.0191 today to speak with one of our staff about how we can help.

Three Components of the “Spirit” of Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing started gaining popularity within substance abuse treatment centers in the 1980s as an alternative to the more aggressive style of substance use programs. In traditional treatments, the therapist is the expert, and the patient must do what they say. Motivational interviewing takes the patient’s position as the expert in their substance use issues. The therapist helps guide them toward changing behaviors and considering healthy life changes. There are three components of motivational interviewing that help achieve this goal.


The relationship between therapist and patient is more of a partnership where everyone involved works together towards a common goal. The therapist and client create a supportive environment that encourages the patient to address underlying discrepancies in either their thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.


In motivational interviewing, the therapists’ role is to encourage you to work toward change in recovery. Motivational interviewing addresses these underlying discrepancies and the events someone is facing in life. It addresses the underlying motivations and commitments and helps bring them to light during the process of evoking change.


The therapist will not give a one-size-fits-all approach when engaged in motivational interviewing. The patient is responsible for the changes and making them happen. Based on what you want to do, the therapist will guide and motivate you toward that goal.

Five Principles of Motivational Interviewing

Two experts in motivational interviewing, Miller and Rollnick¹, wrote the book “Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People To Change Addictive Behavior.” In this book, they state that motivational interviewing offers practical focus. The strategies this treatment teaches are designed to be persuasive rather than coercive. They’re also supposed to support the client rather than argue with them.

Through this type of addiction treatment, the interview must have a strong sense of purpose, skills and strategies for pursuing the purpose, and an uncanny sense of timing, which allows them to intervene at the right moments. Through motivational interviewing, the clinician uses five general principles, which are as follows:

  1. Being able to listen reflectively and express empathy
  2. Creating a discrepancy between the resident’s values or goals and the behaviors they’re currently displaying
  3. Avoiding confrontations and arguments
  4. Adjusting to any resistance the client may show rather than directly opposing it
  5. Supporting the resident’s optimism and self-efficacy

This treatment can be incredibly effective in providing support for our client’s recovery.

Contact Hammocks on the Edisto

At Hammocks on the Edisto, we are a women’s-only treatment center near Charleston that offers evidence-based treatment designed to help you in your recovery efforts, such as motivational interviewing, CBT and DBT, and many more. With these tools, many of our clients find the motivation and support that they need to move forward into a life free of substances. If you’re suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then it’s time to seek help at our women’s treatment center. Call 833.793.0191 today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our programs.

¹ Treatment, C. for S. A. (1999, January 1). Chapter 3-Motivational Interviewing as a Counseling Style. Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment.

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