Introduction to motivational interviewing

by Professor Janet Treasure and Dr Pam Macdonald


Published: February 2013


An introduction to motivational interviewingThis 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.


Start the module



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


How patient-centred are you? Shared decision-making in psychiatric practice by Dr Robert Chaplin and Dr Alan Quirk


Involving patients and carers in training by Dr Alka S. Ahuja



© 2015 Royal College of Psychiatrists