Theories and backgrounds


MI is based on the experiences of Carl R Rogers (1902 - 1987) and Thomas Gordon (1918 - 2002).William Miller and Stephen Rollnick are the founding fathers to the concept "Motivational Interviewing".

William Miller demonstrated at a seminar in Norway how to interact and respond to clients in change talk. The seminar resulted in an implicit model of Motivational Interviewing, consequently the first conceptual model was created and the clinical guidelines for MI were established.

Miller emphasizes in this period special attention to evoking and strengthening the clients own verbalized motivations for change, to identify counterchange arguments, differences between maintaining thoughts, resistance, ambivalence and thoughts about self-efficacy.

Miller and Rollnick met in 1989 which led to the first original MI book, Motivational Interviewing (Miller & Rollnick, 1991). Their cooperation led to a structured way of handling change talk, "Motivational Interviewing". The concept had a successful development by MINT, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (

The method is based on principles of "Social Cognitive Theory", Bandura A (1977), and have some resemblance with the trans-theoretical model "Stages of Change Model", Prochaska J, 1997.