MI is more than just using OARS skills.  How we use these skills matters.  The MI Spirit addresses the interpersonal relationship between the practitioner and client/offender.  This can be looked at as a "way of being" that guides the way that we use MI skills.  The MI Spirit is made up of three components; Autonomy, Collaboration, and Evocation.

Fundamental Approach of MI

Opposite Approach


Involves a partnership that honors the client/offender’s expertise and perspectives. The practitioner provides an atmosphere that is conducive rather than coercive to change.


Involves overriding the client/offender’s impaired perspectives by imposing awareness and acceptance of “reality” that the client/offender cannot see or will not admit.


The resources and motivation for change reside within the client/offender. Intrinsic motivation for change is enhanced by drawing on the client/offender’s perceptions, goals and values. It is not installation therapy.


The client/offender is presumed to lack key knowledge, insight, and /or skills that are necessary for change to occur. The practitioner seeks to address deficits by providing new insight/information.


The practitioner affirms the client/offender’s right and capacity for self-direction and facilitates informed choice.                                    


The practitioner tells the client/offender what he or she must do.



Miller  and. Rollnick. (2002). “Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change”, Guilford Press..