The principles of MI help guide the MI conversation.  The principles consist of Develop Discrepancy, Express Empathy, Roll with Resistance, and Support Self-Efficacy.


D-evelop Discrepancy

§  “Motivation for change occurs when people perceive a discrepancy between                      where they are and where they want to be" (Miller, Zweben, DiClemente, &                          Rychtarik, 1992, p. 8).  

§  When clients/offenders perceive that their current behaviors are not leading                      toward some important future goal, they become more motivated to make                          important life changes. 

§  One of our goals as the practitioner is to help clients/offenders see how some                     of their current ways of being may lead them away from, rather than toward,                     their eventual goals.


E-xpress Empathy

§  Empathy vs. Sympathy – they are not the same thing

    •  Empathy

§  Conveys understanding

§  Shows client that you are listening, and making a                                           genuine effort to understand their perspective

§  Making equally genuine effort to convey that                                                   understanding to the client

§  Does not mean sympathy, agreement, or approval

§  Sympathy

§  Conveys some compassion

§  Has a more intimate feeling, which we don’t want

§  Ultimately can increase client defensiveness

§  One great way to express empathy is through reflective listening

§  A major component of MI

§  Shows the client that you’re listening and that you understand what they are                       saying


R-oll with Resistance

§  When we encounter someone that is resistant to change or resistant to us                        when change is being discussed, we want do not want to meet resistance with                     resistance

§  Accept that it is difficult for the client/offender to change or talk about change

§  Reluctance to change is natural

§  Avoid arguing with the client and for change


    S-upport Self-Efficacy

§  Self-efficacy is the belief that change is possible

§  When a person believes that they are capable of making a change, they are                     more likely to talk about and try making a change

§  The client/offender is responsible for choosing and carrying out personal                           change