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Helpful Motivational Interviewing Techniques

a teen boy sits on a couch listening to his therapist about motivational interviewing techniques that could help him

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based approach to counseling. It encourages people to explore their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about behavior change. MI techniques focus on identifying a motivation, enhancing self-efficacy, increasing their willingness to take responsibility, and finding sustainable solutions.

HillsidesCares understands that every youth has their own set of challenges and motivations when it comes to making personal changes. That’s why our counselors are trained in MI techniques to provide personalized support and assistance to those who need it. Our motivational interviewing program allows clients to explore their feelings about behavior change, learn key skills for positive changes, and enhance their self-esteem. To find out more about our motivational interviewing program and how it could help your child, reach out to us at 323.641.4842.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing is a counseling technique designed to help individuals identify and make healthy changes in their behaviors. It is particularly useful when working with younger people. It offers a gentle, non-confrontational way of helping someone recognize both the benefits and drawbacks of their current lifestyle choices. MI focuses on hearing a person’s story, exploring their motivations behind the change, and connecting with them at an emotional level.

With this approach, young people gain insight into destructive habits they want to break and learn how to use healthy alternatives to replace them. Through MI, young people can make long-term lifestyle changes that ultimately empower them to create healthier and more positive lives for themselves.

Helpful Motivational Interviewing Techniques

Motivational interviewing (MI) can be an incredibly powerful tool for encouraging positive changes in a person’s life. It is founded on the concept of autonomy and self-determination, and it emphasizes kindness, respect, and transparency. Rather than forcing change, MI takes a compassionate approach by involving the individual in their process of meaningful transformation. Although the MI process is quite complex, several helpful techniques can be used to help foster openness and constructive dialogue. These techniques can include the following.

Open-Ended Questions

Asking open-ended questions encourages clients to explore their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about behavior change.


By reflecting on what the person has said using simple phrases or words, counselors can show that they actively listen and understand the individual’s perspective.


Expressing genuine appreciation for the individual’s efforts, successes, and progress can help them feel validated and encourage them to keep up with their progress.


Restating what the person has said helps them feel heard and understood while also providing a summary as a reference point for future conversations.

At HillsidesCares, we understand that every young person has their own set of challenges when making positive changes in their life. With our motivational interviewing program, we provide personalized support and guidance to help foster meaningful transformation and lasting behavior change.

Benefits of Motivational Interviewing for Your Child

Motivational Interviewing (MI) can be an effective way to help your child reach their goals. Some significant benefits of motivational interviewing includes:

  • Cultivating hope by assisting clients to find meaning in their lives and a positive outlook for the future
  • Encouraging self-exploration by helping clients identify their goals, values, and beliefs about behavior change
  • Promoting autonomy and self-determination by allowing the client to take an active role in the process of meaningful transformation
  • Enhancing understanding by allowing clients to explore the advantages and disadvantages of their current behaviors
  • Fostering collaboration by working together with a client to identify healthy alternatives for managing difficult situations

At HillsidesCares, we provide a specialized motivational interviewing program to help young people explore their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about behavior change. Through this program, we empower youth to create positive and lasting changes in their lives.

Schedule a Tour at HillsidesCares to Learn More

At HillsidesCares, we recognize the benefits of motivational interviewing. This empowering approach helps clients increase awareness, gain insight into their behavior, and develop skills to cope better with difficult situations. Plus, it helps build trust between the client and counselor to work together toward meaningful transformation.

Our team is here to help young people create positive and lasting changes in their lives so they can live successful and independent lives for themselves. If you’re interested in learning more about our motivational interviewing program, please contact us at 323.641.4842 to schedule a tour of our campus and programs.