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Motivational Interviewing and Social Work Practice
Journal of Social Work (2005)
  • Stéphanie Wahab, Portland State University

Summary: Motivational interviewing was proposed as an alternative model to direct persuasion for facilitating behavior change. Social work behavior change interventions have traditionally focused on increasing skills and reducing barriers. More recent recommendations tend to encourage practitioners to explore a broad range of issues, including but not limited to skills and barriers. The article defines and explains motivational interviewing by presenting its essential spirit and techniques, and provides a brief case example within a domestic violence context. Findings: This article proposes motivational interviewing as an intervention appropriate for social work practice concerned with behavior change by arguing that motivational interviewing is an exciting intervention model for numerous social work settings due to its consistency with core social work values, ethics, resources, and evidence-based practice. Applications: Social workers may strive to practice and test motivational interviewing in addictions settings, as well as within other critical social work arenas including but not limited to health, domestic violence, batterer treatment, gambling, HIV/AIDS prevention, dual disorders, eating disorders, and child welfare.

  • Social work research,
  • Motivational interviewing
Publication Date
April, 2005
Publisher Statement
Copyright (2005) Sage *At the time of publication, Stephanie Wahab was affiliated with the University of Utah
Citation Information
Stéphanie Wahab. "Motivational Interviewing and Social Work Practice" Journal of Social Work Vol. 5 Iss. 1 (2005)
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