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Motivational Interviewing

A Workbook for Social Workers

Jacqueline Corcoran

Publication Date - July 2016

ISBN: 9780199332212

192 pages
7 x 10 inches

A person-centered, collaborative method for exploring client ambivalence and enhancing change that is compatible with social work values and ethics


Motivational interviewing is a person-centered, collaborative method for exploring ambivalence and enhancing motivation to change. Compatible with social work values and ethics, it is applicable to the wide range of problems and helping situations with which direct practice social workers are involved. One such by-product of working with vulnerable and oppressed clients -- people to whom social work is committed -- is that social workers are often employed in public agencies with people who have been ordered by the courts to attend services. In order to work successfully with mandated populations, helpers have to consider how they will access those who initially appear unmotivated to change. Motivational interviewing provides the stance and the tools to be able to achieve this effectively, while maintaining human dignity and respect of the individual. And although it can be used as a stand-alone model, motivational interviewing has also been employed as an initial intervention so that people become more motivated to participate in other services; it can be used flexibly on its own or integrated with other, more action-oriented interventions. This workbook, with its infusion of examples and numerous exercises, will help students and beginning practitioners develop the knowledge and skills to work collaboratively with clients and to build their motivation to change problem behaviors.


  • Features brief, clear, and simple written explanations and instruction.
  • Offers examples covering the range of different settings, client problems, modalities in which clients may be seen, and client populations that social workers often face.
  • Includes multiple choice questions/short answers applied to vignettes.
  • Provides the opportunity for students' additional application via their own practice situations.

About the Author(s)

Jacqueline Corcoran, PhD, MSSW, is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, where she has been on faculty since 2000. Before that, she was on faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work. Dr. Corcoran teaches research, direct practice, and mental health, has written 14 textbooks, and also has published fiction and non-fiction in the popular market. Her website is www.jacquelinecorcoran.com.

Table of Contents


    Chapter One: Introduction And Overview
    Chapter Two: The Stages Of Change Model And Motivational Interviewing
    Chapter Three: Reflecting Statements And Empathy
    Chapter Four: Open Questions
    Chapter Five: Responding To "Sustain Talk"
    Chapter Six: The Affirming Spirit In Action
    Chapter Seven: Exploration Of Ambivalence
    Chapter Eight: The Helping Process And Motivational Interviewing
    Chapter Nine: Motivational Interviewing And Depression
    Chapter Ten: Intimate Partner Violence And Motivational Interviewing

    Appendix I



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