Has Motivational Interviewing fallen into its own Premature Focus Trap?

Charlotte Hilton, L.H. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
245 Downloads (Pure)


Since the initial conception of the behaviour change method MotivationalInterviewing, there has been a shift evident in epistemological, methodological andpractical applications from an inductive, process and practitioner-focussed approachto that which is more deductive, research-outcome, and confirmatory-focussed. Thispaper highlights the conceptual and practical problems of adopting this approach,including the consequences of assessing the what (deductive outcome-focussed) at theexpense of the how (inductively process-focussed). We encourage a return to aninductive, practitioner and client-focussed MI approach and propose the use ofComputer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Systems such as NVivo in researchinitiatives to support this aim.

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10447-016-9262-y
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-158
JournalInternational Journal for the Advancement of Counselling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2016


  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • NVivo
  • Inductive Research


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