Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a helpful tool for all professionals. Eventually you may need to support another in making a positive change in their life. Here are the stages of change used in motivational interviewing:

  1. Precontemplation: The scholar is in denial. No desire to change or awareness that change is necessary.
  2. Contemplation: The scholar is open to the idea that behavior is problematic, but not yet ready to change.
  3. Preparation: The scholar has recognized their problem and negative impacts. They are ready to begin taking steps towards change.
  4. Action: Change plan is implemented. Scholar will need help in remembering why change is important and why they are capable to make the change (self-efficacy).
  5. Maintenance: Continual work to maintain new behaviors. Relapse is expected, but shouldn’t be dwelled upon.

This process is very similar to the Safe School Ambassadors training framework and I also see this model used within the school counseling program at Berkeley Maynard Academy. How could you apply this change model in your life?


Capuzzi, D. & Stauffer, M.D. (2012). Foundations of Addictions Counseling, 2nd Ed. Pearson Education: Upper Saddle River, NJ.