School Mental Health

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

The Promise of Motivational Interviewing in School Mental Health

  • Andy J. FreyEmail author
  • Richard N. Cloud
  • Jon Lee
  • Jason W. Small
  • John R. Seeley
  • Edward G. Feil
  • Hill M. Walker
  • Annemieke Golly
Review Paper


In recent years, the science of developing and implementing interventions addressing school-related risk factors has produced many advances. This article addresses the promise of a cross-disciplinary practice approach known as motivational interviewing in school settings. Specifically, the supporting evidence as well as the process and principles of motivational interviewing are described for those unfamiliar with motivational interviewing nomenclature. A description of recent school-based innovations using the principles of motivational interviewing is then provided. Next, some potential applications for applying the motivational interviewing approach in educational settings to enhance the adoption, development, and implementation of effective school-based interventions designed to promote academic achievement and prevent or ameliorate challenging behavior are proposed. The article concludes with a discussion of future directions of motivational interviewing approaches within the context of school mental health.


Motivational interviewing Intervention research Fidelity 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education, through Grant R324A090237 to the University of Louisville. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the US Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andy J. Frey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard N. Cloud
    • 1
  • Jon Lee
    • 1
  • Jason W. Small
    • 2
  • John R. Seeley
    • 2
  • Edward G. Feil
    • 2
  • Hill M. Walker
    • 3
  • Annemieke Golly
    • 3
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Oregon Research InstituteEugeneUSA
  3. 3.University of OregonEugeneUSA

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