Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 559–567 | Cite as

Motivational Interviewing and the Transtheoretical Model of Change: Under-Explored Resources for Suicide Intervention

  • Janet Hoy
  • Aravindhan Natarajan
  • Megan M. Petra
Original Paper


Motivational interviewing (MI) is a robust evidence-based intervention that has been used to evoke intrinsic motivation to change behaviors. MI as an intervention focuses on facilitating movement through the stages of the transtheoretical model of change. A study by Coombs et al. (Substance abuse treatment and the stages of change: Selecting and planning interventions, Guilford Press, New York, 2001) demonstrated that suicidal individuals move through such stages toward suicidal behavior, yet research and applications of MI for suicide have been minimal. In hopes of generating increased exploration of MI for suicidality, this article reviews the theoretical rationale and existing empirical research on applications of MI with suicidal individuals. Potential uses of MI in suicide risk assessment/crisis intervention, as well as an adjunct to longer-term treatment, are discussed.


Suicide Motivational interviewing Trans-theoretical model of change Crisis intervention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Hoy
    • 1
  • Aravindhan Natarajan
    • 1
  • Megan M. Petra
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Work ProgramUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA

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