June 4, 2024

Motivational Interviewing: The Basics and Resources

Author: Jacquelyn Wrubel

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing, founded by William Miller (pictured left), is a type of conversation that is conscious about using change-oriented language. The mission of MI is to help foster an environment where patients feel supported in setting and achieving goals for themselves. Motivational Interviewing is best used in situations when a patient is experiencing low confidence, desire, and importance. In order to understand MI, it can be divided into three categories: the spirit, the skills, and the processes.


SPIRIT: Partnership, Evocation, Acceptance, Compassion

SKILLS: Open Questions, Affirmations, Summarizing, Exchange of Information

PROCESSES: Engagement, Focus, Evoking, Planning

For a more in-depth discussion about these topics, feel free to visit the MINT: Excellence in Motivational Interviewing website. We’ve also highlighted some resources on the PRISM website.

Lifting the Burden in Motivational Interviewing

Lifting the Burden in Motivational Interviewing, created by the founder of motivational interviewing, explains what Motivational Interviewing is and isn’t. He uses the metaphor that MI is similar to dancing or guiding someone through another country. It is a careful conversation between two people, using both of their expertise and experiences.

The Effective Pharmacist

The Effective Pharmacist is a video created to educate practitioners on Motivational Interviewing. If you or your patients are still unsure on what MI is or how it works, this video may be helpful to view.

Helping People Change and Grow

Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change and Grow  is a book written by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick. It acts as a practitioner’s guide to MI. The book will take readers through the four types of spirit (as detailed above) and show what they may look like in action. Furthermore, the book provides resources and screeners for those who wish to implement motivational interviewing in their practice.

Trainer Listing

Looking to start motivational interviewing? MINT provides a worldwide Trainer Listing of MI interviewers, including their location, name, and contact information.