Motivational interviewing: III. On the ethics of motivational intervention

TitleMotivational interviewing: III. On the ethics of motivational intervention
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsMiller, WR
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place PublishedUnited Kingdom
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1352-46581469-1833
Accession Number1995-10478-001
Keywordsbehavior change, Behavior modification, ethical aspects of therapeutic motivational interviewing intervention for behavior change, clients with problem behavior, interviewing, Motivation, motivational interviewing, Professional Ethics

Discusses ethical issues in motivational interventions. The problem of motivation typically arises when a therapist perceives a problem and sufficient need for change in someone who does not share this perception. In considering how to respond to such situations, one can conceive of a continuum of levels of readiness to change and of therapeutic strategies ranging from passivity to coercion. Ethical concerns arise when there is a perceived mismatch between readiness level and intervention strategy. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a middle way between passivity and coercion, seeking to evoke intrinsic motivation for change by making salient the inconsistency of problem behavior and that which is more deeply valued. The concern that MI is manipulative, combining a descriptive element and an evaluative component, is explored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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