Empowering Change | The Role of Motivational Interviewing in Client Transformation

Motivation is the driving force behind any meaningful change. As a counsellor, therapist, or advisor, your ability to motivate clients is crucial in helping them navigate their challenges and overcome obstacles. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a powerful technique that centres around the belief that individuals are more likely to commit to change when they find the motivation within themselves. Let me share with and explore the significance of motivational interviewing and how it aligns with the mantra, "There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you can't accept it, change it. If you can't change it, leave it."

Understanding Motivational Interviewing:

Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered approach that seeks to explore and resolve ambivalence. It involves collaborative conversations, guiding clients to discover their intrinsic motivation for change. Instead of imposing solutions, MI respects the autonomy of the client, empowering them to explore their own values and goals.

Accept It:

The first solution to any problem is acceptance. MI recognises the importance of acknowledging the current situation without judgement. By creating a safe space for clients to express themselves without fear of criticism, counsellors pave the way for self-reflection. Through reflective listening and open-ended questions, clients can gain a deeper understanding of their feelings and motivations, ultimately fostering acceptance of their current circumstances.

Change It:

"If you can't accept it, change it." Motivational Interviewing actively encourages clients to identify aspects of their lives they wish to modify. By collaboratively exploring the possibilities for change, counsellors can help clients set realistic and attainable goals. This process involves evoking the client's own reasons for change, helping them recognise the discrepancy between their current behaviour and their desired outcomes. Through this exploration, clients become more motivated to take actionable steps toward positive change.

Leave It:

"If you can't change it, leave it." Sometimes, the most empowering decision is to recognise that certain aspects of life are beyond our control. In MI, counsellors guide clients through a thoughtful consideration of whether leaving a situation is a viable option. This could involve leaving toxic relationships, harmful habits, or unfulfilling environments. By encouraging clients to explore this option, MI promotes a sense of agency and control over one's own life.


Motivational Interviewing stands as a powerful tool in the realm of counselling and therapy. By aligning with the philosophy that there are three solutions to every problem – accept it, change it, or leave it – MI empowers clients to find their own motivation for transformation. As counsellors, our role is not to dictate solutions but to facilitate a process that allows clients to uncover their intrinsic motivation. Through this collaborative journey, clients can achieve lasting and meaningful change in their thinking, state, and circumstances.

Are you ready to either accept it, change it or leave it? Let's find your motivation!

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