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Social Work

On-line version ISSN 2312-7198
Print version ISSN 0037-8054


BELL, Debbie Lenie  and  ROOMANEY, Rizwana. Exploring the barriers that prevent practitioners from implementing motivational interviewing in their work with clients. Social work (Stellenbosch. Online) [online]. 2020, vol.56, n.4, pp.416-429. ISSN 2312-7198.

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based counselling technique that is used by psychologists, doctors, nurses, midwives and social workers as an effective intervention aimed at behavioural change. Despite its efficacy, it is not commonly used in South Africa. Our aim was to explore the barriers that social and health practitioners who were trained in administering MI experienced in implementing MI in their work with clients. We used a qualitative approach to explore these barriers and a phenomenological research design to explore the research question. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 MI practitioners (social workers, registered counsellors, an educational psychologist, a life coach and an addiction counsellor) who were living and working in the Western Cape and deemed competent in MI. Our thematic analysis resulted in four broad areas being identified. These were practitioner-related factors, client-related factors, lack of continuous training and supervision, and workplace-related factors.

Keywords : barriers; evidence-based counselling technique; counsellor; intervention; motivational interviewing; practitioners.

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