Motivational interviewing: research, practice, and puzzles

Addict Behav. 1996 Nov-Dec;21(6):835-42. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(96)00044-5.


Motivational interviewing is a directive client-centered counseling approach for initiating behavior change by helping clients to resolve ambivalence. Background research that led to its development is reviewed, along with current evidence for its efficacy in reducing alcohol and other drug abuse. Elements of therapeutic style are briefly discussed. Although current evidence generally supports the effectiveness of motivational interviewing, the underlying reasons and mechanisms for change pose unsolved puzzles.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Interview, Psychological*
  • Motivation*
  • Person-Centered Psychotherapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome