The Promise of Motivational Interviewing in School Mental Health

Andy J. Frey, Richard N. Cloud, Jon Lee, Jason W. Small, John R. Seeley, Edward G. Feil, Hill M. Walker, Annemieke Golly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSchool Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Fidelity
  • Intervention research
  • Motivational interviewing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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