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Motivational Work picks up where Motivational Interviewing leaves off

Motivational Work is a method that has evolved from my work in cooperation with different groups of personnel. According to those personnel that I have met, it differs from Motivational Interviewing by being more comprehensive and general. Motivational Interviewing is more specific and originates from a non-confrontational psychotherapeutic method (Roger’s client-centred therapy), which is then applied to unmotivated clients.

During my first period with unmotivated clients I worked with Rogers’ client-centred therapy. I learned then that you could only help those who were least unmotivated (see About)), and so I developed my own theory and method for motivating those with least motivation. Since Motivational Interviewing is based on Rogers’ client-centred therapy, you could say that my method starts where Motivational Interviewing ends.

One advantage of Motivational Work, which is clear to personnel, is that it is aimed at all types of clients and even those with most destructive behaviour. There is no preconceived technique to which the client must be adapted, but instead the method is adapted to clients’ behaviour. Nobody is hopeless. Working in this way, one has a different paradigm from other methods which are based on psychotherapeutic thinking.

After having completed a textbook on motivational work in Swedish 1986 (until now printed in four editions, also translated into Danish, three editions), I then decided to write an English manuscript (with the help of two English translators) so that I could convey ideas to the whole world. At the same time I wished to develop my theory and methods so that everybody can fully understand what I mean.

The writing process has taken 21 years to complete. During this time I have been constantly working full-time and have used my evenings and spare time, including holidays, to write. From the beginning I had no idea that the work would be so extensive. I was surprised at how much theory it is necessary to formulate in order to fully describe motivational work.