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Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change

(Applications of Motivational Interviewing )

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,833 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This bestselling work for professionals and students is the authoritative presentation of motivational interviewing (MI), the powerful approach to facilitating change. The book elucidates the four processes of MI--engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning--and vividly demonstrates what they look like in action. A wealth of vignettes and interview examples illustrate the "d ...more
Hardcover, Third Edition, 468 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Guilford Press (first published August 9th 1991)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  2,833 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Morgan Blackledge
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read an earlier addition of this manual when I was in school working towards my MA. I thought it was brilliant back then. But I had no idea how effective this stuff would be in practice. I'm currently doing my (MFT) internships and just beginning to implement this stuff, and WOW, it really works.

The first time I experienced a client drop dramatic, sudden, emphatic change talk in a session my jaw just about hit the floor. I was with a client who was on the verge of becoming homeless, but could
Mengran Xu
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a new therapist, I often struggle over one thing—my client does not appear motivated enough. We have followed the CBT approach, but they are not doing thought records, they are not doing their exposures, they are not paying attention to our discussions from previous sessions. In short, they are not doing what we want them to do. But this stance is exactly the root of all the problems.
  My initial response was twofold: I either blamed myself or the client. It could be that I have pushed to
Chelsea Jennings
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the most logical and effective approach I've learned for evoking change in people. I've seen it work in practice. It's pretty amazing. It would be a very good thing if this were required reading and training for everyone working in counseling, social work, medicine, criminal justice and teen mentoring as well as many other applications.
Steve Papanastasiou
If you are giving services one on one this book will help you a lot.

Focuses on effective client-centered approach with good examples.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read for work. Written with clinicians in mind but has a lot of useful advice for people who want to become better listeners in all types of settings. Has some really tangible advice on how to divorce yourself from the impulse of offering people unsolicited advice, and instead working with others to find what they want and how they can get to that goal on their own. Also found it super useful for personal goal setting, and thinking about how I work towards my goals and react to failure. I'm not ...more
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: practical-psych
Motivational Interviewing is a useful style of interacting with people in counseling situations where the person may not want to be there & may not see the need for change. This book gives a very easy-to-understand & practical guide to using this style to help people build their own motivation for change. It provides a good mix of theory & practice for clinicians & I think it's useful for anyone who works with people who may not want help. ...more
Apr 25, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i have done my master in social work and near to start any job .that's way i want to read some books which can help me in my practice.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
I was always intending to read about Motivational Interviewing, and until my internship where I encountered a common theme of people wanting to change, but unable to proceed (for whatever reason; particularly ambivalence) and also with not many sessions to work with clients, my supervisor handed me a copy of this book. While not the smoothest read (and not the driest), this is a great resource! Miller and Rollnick take a comprehensive look at this therapeutic approach, breaking it down into its ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Obviously I like this in part because I gravitate towards MI but I also think this book is incredibly well written for a clinical resource/textbook given the amount of concrete examples given throughout! The commentary throughout on how MI has evolved with time and exploration of how it stems from Rogerian and other theories is also helpful in getting a deeper understanding of the theory and practice. Also, the chapters are short and it is incredibly readable, so easily read even when exhausted!
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
THE textbook on Motivational Interviewing. I read this as it pertains to my career (clinical psychologist in training), but this was not assigned reading. This book solidified my perspective that motivational interviewing is crucial for therapists who are often engaging with clients who are not yet ready for or committed to making changes. This book was quite dense and I found it hard to translate directly into my practice, but the authors speak to that and provide recommendations for training. ...more
Natalie Kaufman
One of my textbooks this semester. I thought it was a decent read, however I felt as if the concepts were very straight forward. This book was presented as a groundbreaking theory of sorts but I got the feel that MI is simply an explanation of current concepts counselors face. It was valuable for learning a few new skills though!
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read selected chapters, not cover to cover, but MI is a powerful therapeutic technique, and this book by Miller and Rollnick effectively outlines the process and practice of the skill. Necessary for any interpersonal work.
James G.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
I learned a lot from this book. I have already started using these methods in my own counseling sessions and have seen great results. This book is easy to follow, has great examples, and very well written. Highly recommend.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really liked this book. Great examples. Wish there were few exercices at the end though.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is basically the MI bible. It is well written and extremely helpful. I will be keeping this one and refering back to it for a long time.
Michele Maxwell
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very helpful, easy to read textbook. I rented it for a class but have every intention of buying a copy for use in my daily practice as a social worker
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The classic text on Motivational Interviewing and background on Transtheoretical model of change.
Erica Criscione
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful to anyone, mainly those in counseling. Gives you another way to talk to others and not be forceful on what people should do
Pacific Stoa
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without any previous counseling experience I found this book a little dense at first. As I grow in experience I find this book to be an amazing resource I call back to on a weekly basis!
Mirjam Visscher
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Okay, but very focused on addiction care although the title suggests a broader application.
Loved this book and will be implementing the techniques. Many people aren't ready to change things that they do, and this is a great tool to move them into later stages of change.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: therapists who want to empathize and still get paid for it
This is only example #2 of an Empirically Supported Treatment that, despite my skepticism of ESTs (thanks to their history of strict session-by-session manualization in a cognitive-behavioral style) has really grabbed me as doable for both therapist and client.

The MI technique comes from the substance abuse field, and strikes me as an amazing revelation in that field. Over time, it's become apparent that it's also wildly useful for any intervention in which shame or punishment has been a primar
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was part of my Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training. There are many things I will apply to my work as an oncology navigator. So much of it is about listening, and opening the door for engagement. I will read this more thatn once.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Motivational Interviewing is less about chit chat and is contingent upon listening and respecting personal life choices an individual has decided on, and thereby not resorting to taking on an authoritative role of: "I have more experience than you do in life, therefore you should listen to me when I tell you this".

More importantly, Motivational Interviewing teaches the practitioner to value the insight of their subject, by placing themselves in their subject's shoes, rather than desiring their s
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My purpose in reading this book was to get a better sense for motivational interviewing (MI) techniques and how to apply them to a health population. The first half of the book, by Miller and Rollnick, was helpful with this. The main problem is that the principles behind MI are theoretically simple, but pragmatically difficult to translate into effective interventions in the therapy room. The examples of transcribed client-therapist interactions were probably the most useful portion of the entir ...more
When I first opened this book, I was so excited to read it. In theory, I think it's a great book for most medical professionals to read. How often do we all feel as though we are being herded in and out of the doctor's office without anyone actually listening or looking up from their laptop?

From an interpersonal communication standpoint, it is great. If you have no skills in this area or are not naturally empathetic towards others, this book can greatly help you. However, I found a lot of the ch
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an smoking cessation counselor without a formal background in addictions counseling, this book was exceptionally helpful in specific phrasings and ideas of how to work with my clients. However, I recommend it to all personal trainers, doctors, teachers, and anyone that uses the motivation to change to help people. Or anyone that has ever tried to help anyone who is ambivalent about making a decision.

There are some chapters that are pretty technical, but other sections are written very clearly
Didn't have a chance to finish this before a new semester took precedence of my time. I appreciated Miller's interpretation of how people get stuck and how they need help to change; but I did not like his combative approach towards clients. I much prefer the SFBT approach developed by Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer in which the Client is the expert; not the therapist. They also approach each client with a sense of Curiosity and Respect. Miller's approach is that the therapist knows better. I ...more
Robert Bogue
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While working on a community project to help teens who are struggling with life, I had the pleasure of talking to some real professionals who work with teens every day, and one of them shared one of his techniques for having dialogues with teens in trouble. That technique was motivational interviewing. I picked it up and started reading Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change, and realized that it addressed some of the challenges that I’ve seen in my work with my children as well as con ...more
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for those in the "helping" professions, therapists, social workers, counselors, health coaches, etc. The process of Motivational Interviewing grew out of the Recovery field, but has application for many other therapeutic settings. This approach emphasizes: empathy, with boundaries; exploration of ambivalence; rolling with resistance; is client-centered and non-confrontational, but is directive. The authors also do a good job of discussing issues/clients with whom this approach is no ...more
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William Richard Miller is an American clinical psychologist, an emeritus distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Miller and Stephen Rollnick are the co-founders of motivational interviewing.

Other books in the series

Applications of Motivational Interviewing (6 books)
  • Building Motivational Interviewing Skills: A Practitioner Workbook
  • Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behavior
  • Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice
  • Motivational Interviewing in the Treatment of Psychological Problems, First Ed

News & Interviews

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
9 likes · 0 comments
“People are the undisputed experts on themselves. No one has been with them longer, or knows them better than they do themselves. In MI, the helper is a companion who typically does less than half of the talking.” 4 likes
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion. —PROVERBS 18:2” 3 likes
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