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What is Motivational Interviewing?

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

What motivates you? Is it love? Is it money? Is it a connection? Family? Success? Or something else? What if you could use the thing that motivates you the most as a way to treat depression or anxiety? With something called motivational interviewing, it’s possible.

Motivational interviewing is a style of communication that’s intended to strengthen personal motivation connected to a specific goal. By identifying what motivates you, it’s possible to influence a change in behaviors to get you more committed and closer to reaching and obtaining your goals. Motivational interviewing is a collaborative and non-judgmental process between yourself and a mental health professional that reframes how you view and talk about change.

Who can benefit from motivational interviewing?

As this is something that takes time and practice, motivational interviewing can be very rewarding as a way to treat anxiety and depression. Its overall goal is to empower you to change by uncovering your personal meaning and importance for change. The conversation between yourself and your therapist should be natural rather than forced, and free of unsolicited advice. It is up to you to discover your reason for change through the use of guided questions. Ultimately, the power is in your hands and already lies within you – it’s just waiting for you to explore it!

People looking for this type of anxiety treatment may be experiencing:

  • Low confidence
  • Doubt in your abilities to change
  • Little desire to make important changes
  • Uncertainty surrounding change
  • Anxiety and depression

Core skills of anxiety treatment near me

Motivational interviewing follows core skills that allow for a beneficial conversation. Here are some examples.

  • Open questions – Structured, yet open-ended questions, focus on your ideas, perspectives, and experiences. You are able to answer questions based on what you know followed by conversational responses containing what your therapist knows as well. This allows for a thoughtful discussion between both of you.
  • Affirmation – Confirming your strengths, efforts, and successes helps build your confidence, laying down a strong foundation for change to happen.
  • Reflection – Empathy is expressed by your therapist as they carefully listen and reflect on what you are telling them by repeating, rephrasing, or offering a deeper meaning to what you are saying.
  • Summarization – This is key for mutual understanding of what you are saying throughout your conversation.

There are also four fundamental processes when it comes to motivational interviewing as a way to treat anxiety and depression. The flow of the conversation should be engaging, focused on a shared purpose, evoking, and purposeful as you explore and plan with your therapist ways to make actual changes in your life.

Depression treatment in South Jersey

If you or a loved one are looking for depression treatment in South Jersey, Harmony Bay Wellness is the place for you. Our staff of mental health professionals use a variety of integrated mental health techniques and therapy services to help people overcome anxiety and depression through small changes that lead to big differences. For more information on ways to treat depression and anxiety, contact us today by calling 855.857.6050. Change doesn’t have to be scary, we promise.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.