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Motivational Interviewing and Humanistic Psychology

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The Motivational Interview is a communication technique focused on change, developed by psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. It is based on the belief that each individual has the ability to bring about positive changes in his life, and its purpose is to foster and strengthen the internal motivation for change. Often, we know that smoking or drinking is bad and hurts us, our parents and friends tell us, doctors also talk about it. So we don’t lack information. However, we fail to make the change or simply look for excuses or reasons to continue with the present situation.

The Motivational Interviewing comes from Humanistic Psychology and shares with it the main concepts, such as:

  1. Empathy and Unconditional Respect: help understand your personal perspectives, values and goals, providing you with a safe and judgment-free space.

  2. Collaboration: the therapist and the client work together as a team. With support you can explore your own motivators and goals, instead of imposing solutions from the outside.

  3. Evocation: Instead of convincing or persuading, focus your own reasons and resources for change. Self-reflection and informed decision-making are encouraged for lasting change.


During the psychological intervention the therapist does not make the change for the person but he does accompany and guide him in this long process. The whole process consists of 4 phases represented in the figure above:

  1. Engaging and Comprehensive Assessment: In the first stage of the Motivational Interviewing, your current situation is evaluated and your concerns, desires and objectives are explored. Through open questions and active listening, a solid foundation will be laid for the process of change.

  2. Focusing and Goal Identification: Together, we identify your personal goals and the changes you want to make in your life. Setting clear goals is critical to guiding the Motivational Interviewing process toward meaningful results.

  3. Evoking and Exploration of Ambivalence: It is normal to experience ambivalence in the face of change. Explore reasons for change and possible barriers that may arise along the way. Recognizing these ambivalences is an essential step towards positive change.

  4. Planning and Strengthening Internal Motivation: Using specific techniques, your internal motivation for change will be strengthened. We highlight your personal strengths and resources, creating a solid foundation for progress toward your goals.


Climbing step after step we approach the change in your life. Having support and guidance on this path is important. Here I have compiled the most relevant phrases of this approach.

  • If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. (Lewis Carroll)

  • ​If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. (Lao Tzu)

  • ​I have not the right to want to change another if I am not open to be changed. (Martin Buber)

  • ​Unsolicited advice is the junk mail of life. (Bern Williams)

  • ​Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t. (Erica Jong)

  • ​After all, when you seek advice from someone it’s certainly not because you want them to give it. You just want them to be there while you talk to yourself. (Terry Pratchett)

  • ​Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

  • ​Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King, JR)

  • ​The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

  • ​Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often. (Mark Twain)

  • ​Easier to change the course of a river than a person’s natural habit. (Chinese saying)

  • ​In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. Dean Fixsen)


The Motivational Interviewing is a valuable and effective tool to encourage positive change in your life. I believe we all have the potential for growth and transformation, and I’m here to accompany you on this journey to emotional well-being and personal empowerment. It is easier and more pleasant to walk accompanied towards your illusions than alone!

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