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How Well Does Motivational Interviewing Work?

Studies show that motivational interviewing is effective in the treatment of people with substance abuse or addiction problems. It works fast and so costs less than other forms of therapy, and it has been shown to motivate people into staying involved with addiction treatment for longer periods of time.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Motivational Interviewing is a useful therapeutic tool for use with people who have substance abuse or addiction problems.

A recent review of 11 clinical trials on motivation interviewing reveal that 9 of 11 of these studies found that motivational interviewing was found to be more effective than standard care. 1

What Are Some of the Benefits of Motivational Interviewing?

  • Motivational interviewing is designed to work fairly quickly, often requiring just 2 to 4 sessions in total. This makes it a relatively fast acting and inexpensive therapeutic technique
  • There is good evidence that Motivational Interviewing works to influence change away from high risk behaviors – and this change has been found to occur across a wide variety of real life settings
  • Motivational interviewing has been shown to increase the likelihood that a person will stay on longer in further episodes of addiction treatment – which is a strong predictor of eventual success

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