Motivational interviewing is a talk therapy or counseling strategy that works to move individuals away from a state of indecisiveness or uncertainty and towards seeking motivation to make positive decisions and accomplish established goals. An individual may be struggling with a substance disorder and is completely ambivalent about it. They may not care to seek therapy to change their life for the better.
Motivational interviewing motivates these individuals to change for the better and to step onto the path of recovery. The primary role of the therapist is to listen to the patient and repeat back what they are saying. This reflection-type exercise is generally a short-term therapeutic approach and sets the patient up for other psychotherapy approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.