William Miller on Motivational Interviewing
by William R. Miller
In this compelling interview, Miller discusses the evolution of Motivational Interviewing, the spirit of MI, and specific techniques that clinicians can begin applying immediately.
If you’ve ever tried to help someone change, you’ve probably realized that taking the expert role and telling the person what to do often doesn’t work, and usually leaves you feeling frustrated. Bill Miller, the founder of Motivational Interviewing, developed an alternative that might be obvious to some and radical to others: honor the person’s autonomy, draw forth the inherent desire to change, and take a collaborative—rather than confrontational—approach.

In this compelling interview, Miller elucidates how people change and how we, as clinicians, can effectively facilitate the process. He discusses the evolution of Motivational Interviewing, the spirit of MI, and specific techniques that clinicians can begin applying immediately. Miller addresses how to deal with clients’ resistance and denial, particularly when the clinician feels impatient and frustrated, and talks about ways to build clients’ confidence to enhance motivation.

If you’re looking for a respectful, compassionate, evidence-based tool to incorporate into your repertoire, and are ready to really make a difference in your clients’ lives, it’s time to begin using Motivational Interviewing. Get started here by learning directly from the creator himself, and join countless others who have used this approach with great success in diverse fields, including addiction counseling, criminal justice, and health care.

By watching this video, you will be able to:
  • Describe the Motivational Interviewing approach to change, including the spirit of Motivational Interviewing and specific techniques used to help people change.
  • Identify when Motivational Interviewing is and is not recommended.
  • Explain how a clinician employing Motivational Interviewing techniques would respond to resistance.

What therapists are saying…

"A delightful, insightful and intelligent conversation with Bill Miller about Motivational Interviewing, from its origins to various strategies and applications. This is a must-see for anyone interested in Motivational Interviewing, whether new to it or already an experienced practitioner. Bill's easy-going articulation brings to life many concepts and ideas central to Motivational Interviewing."

-- Ali Hall, JD, Motivational Interviewing Trainer and Consultant, San Francisco, CA and College Park, MD
"This video is helpful both for those who are new to Motivational Interviewing and to the experienced MI practitioner. He succinctly covers not only the essential techniques, but more importantly the philosophical underpinnings or “spirit” that guides the work. Highly recommended."

-- Tom Walker, MSW, MI Trainer and Consultant, Canadian Training Institute
"The interview with Miller is information rich and full of small gems of clinical wisdom. It provides a useful lens for viewing a range of topics and issues that are of the utmost importance to many practitioners.... I highly recommend it."

-- Tim Antiss, M.B, M.Ed, D.Occ.Med, Reviewed in APA PsycCRITIQUES
In Depth
For the past four decades, William Miller has researched an essential question: how do people change? In this interview, he elaborates on his findings, which in many ways turn conventional wisdom on its head. Learn how to redirect what Miller calls the “righting reflex”—that tendency we all have to shout, “You’re hurting yourself! You’ve got to stop doing that!” Doing so will reduce resistance and increase the likelihood that your clients will find their own intrinsic motivation to change.

While Motivational Interviewing was originally developed for substance abuse counselors, it is now used widely by all types of therapists, physicians, nurses, dietitians, teachers, and anyone who interacts with people who are ambivalent about change. And, let’s face it, who isn’t ambivalent about change?

Another feature of this video is the opportunity to really get a sense of what Miller is like. He is soft spoken and gentle; the Rogerian, person-centered influences of Motivational Interviewing seem very consistent with his personality. Of course, we know that theoretical orientations don't form on a blank slate, but are usually intrinsically related to their founders’ experiences and personalities, and this is certainly the case with MI.

As a bonus, Miller shares the origin story of MI: how a paper he happened to write and submit after being nudged on by a colleague turned into a major movement in psychotherapy, counseling, health care, criminal justice, and other fields. This video is an excellent introduction to MI, and to the man who started it all.  For a more comprehensive, skill-based training series, please see our newest release, the 4-video series Motivational Interviewing Step by Step.

Length of video: 1:00:00

English subtitles available

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-306-5

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-307-3

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-307-2

William R. Miller, PhD, the originator of Motivational Interviewing, is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico and Director of Research for UNM's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse & Addictions. Dr. Miller has published 25 books and more than 200 articles and chapters on the treatment of alcoholism and other addictive behaviors.

See all William Miller videos.
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