Change is rarely easy, and careers are full of change. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based method of communication that can help individuals not only feel open to change, but feel motivated to bring about behavioural change or achieve a goal.
Motivational interviewing (MI) was developed by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick, and was first used in the 1980s to help clients struggling with addiction. Today, MI has been studied in more than a thousand controlled clinical trials and is used in a variety of industries, including health care, mental health, criminal justice and social care settings. With motivational interviewing, the client drives the conversation and the practitioner acts as a guide. It is a collaborative process designed to boost the client’s motivation for change.
Career professionals can use MI to help clients and students strengthen their motivation and commitment to behavioural change. The resources below can help career professionals understand what motivational interviewing is and how it can help clients, as well as techniques and strategies for implementing MI in their own practice.
Integrating motivational interviewing in career counseling: A case study (ScienceDirect)
Available for purchase or access via eligible institutions, this case study looks at how and why motivational interviewing should be integrated in career counselling, as well as how motivational interviewing can help clients resolve career problems and feel ready to make choices that affect their career.
Motivational Interviewing (Psychology Today)
In this short article, Psychology Today gives some examples of when motivational interviewing is used. While the article focuses on contexts related to physical and mental health rather than career guidance, this article can make it easier to understand the purpose of MI and in what way it helps clients.
Understanding Motivational Interviewing (Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers)
The MINT organization is dedicated to sharing information and resources about motivational interviewing. This section of their website briefly explains what MI is and lists important elements of effective motivational interviewing.
Incorporating Motivational Interviewing into Career Counseling (National Career Development Association) [Article]
This short article provides a lot of useful information about motivational interviewing in the context of career counselling. It lists three main assumptions a counsellor has as they approach motivational interviewing and four ways in which a counsellor works to increase a client’s motivation for change. Liz Lierman, the article’s author, also shares five techniques for using MI as a career counselling framework.
Motivational interviewing: A client-centred approach to moving toward change (CareerWise) [Article]
Career professional Nancy Curtis shares the origins and foundational principles of motivational interviewing. She also outlines examples of how to employ this tool with career counselling clients to help them move toward employment.
Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) [Manual]
This international organization was created in 1997 by a group of trainers who were taught by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick, the creators of motivational interviewing. Today, this group of trainers comes from a variety of backgrounds and uses motivational interviewing in a variety of environments. In addition to providing information about publications, forums and conferences related to MI, this website also offers a manual for new trainers (last updated in September 2014).
17 Motivational Interviewing Questions and Skills (Positive Psychology) [Article]
This article goes into helpful detail as it walks readers through underlying principles and techniques of motivational interviewing. The article also contains a link to a free downloadable PDF that uses science-based exercises to help clients set and achieve goals.
Resources for Motivational Interviewing (Psychwire) [Videos and PDFs]
In addition to offering expert-led online courses about motivational interviewing, this website provides access to free videos and PDF resources. The video collection includes “What is MI? Stephen Rollnick explains,” “The Uses of MI” and “A Client-Centred Approach.” The PDF collection features downloadable materials on subjects such as “Some Characteristics of Successful Changers” and “MI Controlled Trials.”
Motivational interviewing techniques [PDF]
This document aims to help readers understand how and why people change, and how motivational interviewing can be used to help promote behavioural change. The article explores the concept of readiness to change, as well as:
- The spirit of motivational interviewing (including a case study)
- Motivational interviewing in practice
- The guiding principles of motivational interviewing
- Barriers to implementing motivational interviewing in general practice
Training and workshops
Integrating Motivational Interviewing into Career Counselling Practice to Overcome Client Ambivalence (CERIC)
This CERIC-CDAA partner webinar series, presented by Roxanne Sawatzky, introduces participants to techniques for integrating motivational interviewing into their career counselling practice, as well as strategies for helping clients strengthen their motivation for career change. The webinar sessions take place on Feb. 23, March 2 and March 9, 2021. You can register for this webinar series or learn more about it online.
Motivational Interviewing Certificate (York University)
This certificate program, provided by York University, is offered online at various times throughout 2021 and 2022. York University’s website provides details about program content, who should take this program, and how it benefits course participants and their clients.
Motivational Interviewing – Foundational (Psychwire)
Taught by the creators of motivational interviewing – Drs. William Miller and Stephen Rollnick – and Dr. Theresa Moyers, this foundational course in motivational interviewing uses video lessons, animations and interactive quizzes to share a method of motivational interviewing that is useful in a variety of industries, including counselling, education and social work. Course participants gain access to reading materials, resources and an online forum where they can ask questions. The course webpage provides more information about the course goals, topics and modules, as well as a course preview.
Motivational Interviewing Training (The Association for Psychological Therapies)
The Association for Psychological Therapies considers itself to be a leading provider of MI training. They offer a few courses related to motivational interviewing, and accreditation upon completion of any course. Note: These courses are not specifically designed with career guidance in mind, but may be useful to those who want to learn more about motivational interviewing and how it can help clients coping with mental and physical health challenges.
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