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Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice

Edited by Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., Bachaar Arnaout, M.D., and Carla Marienfeld, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-046-7
  • Item #37046

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Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice teaches the reader how to use the critically important tool of motivational interviewing to promote health and well-being. Based on the theoretical framework of Miller and Rollnick, the book presents the latest models and techniques that the editors and authors have found helpful in their scholarship and clinical experience. Failure to adhere to recommended treatments is common across a wide range of illnesses—from medical problems, such as hypertension or management of cardiovascular risk factors, to psychiatric disorders, including addiction. The methods and skills of motivational interviewing can be applied to any health behavior, be it giving up alcohol or cigarettes, taking medication for hypertension or high cholesterol, or changing dietary and exercise habits.

Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice has many useful features:

  • The book is organized along the four processes of motivational interviewing—engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning—which provides a consistent framework for enhanced understanding.
  • The authors include numerous case examples with extensive illustrations of clinical dialogue that will be invaluable to both novices and experts.
  • The book explores the integration of motivational interviewing with other psychotherapies and the use of motivational interviewing with psychopharmacology.
  • The authors also address special topics such as motivational interviewing in a diverse society and the teaching of motivational interviewing.
  • Key points, references, and multiple-choice examination questions, along with explanations of the correct answers, are provided, as well as numerous clinical tools and summary tables to bring the material to life.
  • For those looking for a quick general or board review on the topic, the multiple choice questions and answers are collected together in a special section for easy access, self-study, and review.
  • Medical students new to motivational interviewing provide reflections on each chapter, focusing readers on the material deemed by their peers to be most useful to them in the future.

Written for busy clinicians without specialized knowledge or expertise in behavior change, Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice provides straightforward, practical suggestions for working effectively with patients who suffer from substance use and other psychiatric disorders.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Part 1: Getting Ready to Use Motivational Interviewing
  • Chapter 1. Motivational Interviewing in Addiction Treatment
  • Chapter 2. Fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing
  • Chapter 3. Engaging
  • Chapter 4. Focusing
  • Chapter 5. Evoking
  • Chapter 6. Planning
  • Part 2: Getting Good at Motivational Interviewing
  • Chapter 7. Integrating Motivational Interviewing With Other Psychotherapies
  • Chapter 8. Motivational Interviewing and Pharmacotherapy
  • Chapter 9. Motivational Interviewing in a Diverse Society
  • Part 3: Getting Advanced Knowledge in Motivational Interviewing
  • Chapter 10. Teaching Motivational Interviewing
  • Chapter 11. Motivational Interviewing in Administration, Management, and Leadership
  • Chapter 12. The Science of Motivational Interviewing
  • Appendix 1: Key Concepts in Motivation and Change
  • Appendix 2: Answer Guide to Study Questions
  • Index


    Michelle C. Acosta, Ph.D.
    Elie G. Aoun, M.D.
    Angela R. Bethea-Walsh, Ph.D.
    Curtis Bone, M.D.
    Noah Capurso, M.D.
    Jeffrey DeVido, M.D.
    Deborah L. Haller, Ph.D.
    Brian Hurley, M.D.
    Ayana Jordan, M.D., Ph.D.
    Vicki Kalira, M.D.
    SueAnn Kim, M.D.
    Grace Kwon, D.O.
    Marie-Josee Lynch
    Caridad C. Ponce Martinez, M.D.
    Steve Martino, Ph.D.
    Edward V. Nunes, M.D.
    Richard N. Rosenthal, M.D.
    Teofilo E. Matos Santana, M.D.
    Mandrill Taylor, M.D.

About the Authors

Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Chief of Service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

Bachaar Arnaout, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, Connecticut.

Carla Marienfeld, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, in San Diego, California.

Motivational Interviewing for Change is perhaps the most important fundamental building block in the erection of a monument to an improved health status and wellness. This well researched and written Handbook is the jewel that the treatment field has been searching for.—Louis E. Baxter, Sr., M.D., DFASAM, Past President of ASAM

This is an excellent book for both experienced practitioners and beginning clinicians. Leaders in the addiction field have provided the relevant background of a very useful clinical technique, and they explain clearly how to apply it. This is done in a highly readable and practically oriented way.—Marc Galanter, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine

Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice, is a very practical resource for the busy clinician. Although the intended audience of this book is the psychiatrist or clinician with no particular interest in addiction treatment, it is an excellent guide for any clinician (physician, therapist, resident, or counselor) who works with patients with substance use disorders. This book should be essential to the library of everyone who treats patients with substance use disorders.—Lon R. Hays, M.D., M.B.A.

This book should be required reading for all clinicians who work with individuals with substance use problems. Motivational Interviewing is clearly the standard interviewing skill that underlies our clinical work, and this is the most accessible and practical text on the subject. It will be valued by novices and experts alike. The reader is guided through all the steps necessary to learn MI with easy to follow and understand examples. Everything that you need is here, including a particularly useful chapter on teaching MI. If you want to add one book on MI to your library, this is it.—John A. Renner, Jr., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, President, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry

This is a fine book, a how to practical manual of motivational interviewing (MI) written for a wide audience including those new to MI, experienced practitioners and everyone in between. The editors have organized the chapters in a logical way, in sections that start with the basics and progress to advanced applications. Not only do they review the fundamentals, but the authors address practical issues such as integrating MI into other types of treatment including behavioral and pharmacologic interventions. Advanced topics, such as teaching of MI and the use of MI in administration and management extend the focus beyond the clinical realm. Readers can choose to focus on certain sections, or, given the descriptive writing style and the use of many clinical vignettes, they will likely find themselves perusing the entire book.—Ismene L. Petrakis, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine and Director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship

Psychiatrists—and any health care providers—who want to build solid rapport with and help facilitate lasting transformation in their patients should own, read carefully, and frequently refer to the book. This book, replete with vivid, realistic, useful case examples, provides an immediately accessible window into the theory and basic concrete skills needed to grow into an accomplished practitioner of the motivational interviewing approach. Each self-contained chapter, while fully relating to the work as a whole, stands fully on its own allowing the reader to pinpoint needed information quickly, including valuable chapters on integrating motivational interviewing into other forms of psychotherapy and into pharmacotherapy.—Andrew J. Saxon, M.D., Professor and Director, Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Director, Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE)

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