There are four central processes that contribute to the flow of MI and help move an individual through the change process.

  1. Engaging- the process of forming a positive working relationship and connection.
  2. Focusing- identifying a direction for change goals
  3. Evoking- helping the individual to identify and express reasons for change
  4. Planning-developing a commitment to change and coming up with an action plan
Questions for Each Stage of the Motivational Interviewing Process
  • How comfortable is the person talking to me?
  • How supportive and helpful am I being?
  • Do I understand the person’s perspective and concerns?
  • How comfortable do I feel in this conversation?
  • Does this feel like a collaborative partnership?
  • What goals for change does this person have?
  • Do I have different aspirations for change than the client has for himself/herself?
  • Are we working together with common goals?
  • Do I have a clear since of where we are headed in the future?
  • Does this feel more like dancing or wrestling?
  • What are the person’s reasons for change?
  • Is the reluctance more about confidence or importance of the change?
  • Am I steering the person too far or too fast in a particular direction?
  • Is the righting reflex pulling me to be the one arguing for change?
  • What would be a reasonable next step toward change?
  • What would help this person to move forward?
  • Am I remembering to evoke rather than prescribe a plan?
  • Am I offering needed information or advice with permission?
  • Am I retaining a sense of quiet curiosity about what will work best for this person?