10 things that MI is

1. MI is a communication STYLE
A collaborative style of communication. A refined form of guiding.

2. MI has a particular FOCUS
Change is the focus of conversation.

3. MI has a particular PURPOSE
The purpose of MI is to elicit and strengthen personal motivation for change.

4. MI is PERSON-CENTERED
MI honors autonomy and self-determination. Evokes rather than installs motivation.
MI relies heavily on reflective listening and other person-centered communication skills

5. MI uses SPECIFIC SKILLS
MI applies specific helping skills in particular prescribed ways.

6. MI is GOAL-ORIENTED
MI moves toward a particular change goal.
MI seeks to resolve ambivalence in the direction of change. Not merely exploring ambivalence.

7. MI attends to specific forms of SPEECH
MI is attuned to and guided by particular aspects of client speech.
MI Elicits and strengthens client change talk.

8. MI is BRIEF
In psychotherapy, typically 1-3 sessions.
Amenable to short contact settings.

9. MI is ADAPTABLE
MI is not formulaic, but responds to the person's immediate experience.
MI seems to cross cultures well. MI has shown efficacy across a range of problem areas and settings.

10. MI is LEARNABLE
MI involves specifiable skills that are strengthened with practice. Quality of MI delivery is quantifiable.

10 things that MI is...
A refined form of guiding
in a conversation focused on change
that evokes and strengthens personal motivation
in a person-centered, autonomy-honoring way
using specific skills in certain ways
toward a particular change goal
that is attuned to and guided by client speech
and is relatively brief

Taken from the presentation What makes it MI by Miller and Rollnick at MINT Forum in Sitges 2009