Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Dr. Theodore Remley


Mental health counselors who counsel adolescents suffering from substance abuse and obesity issues have successfully used motivational interviewing with their clients; however there is little data that has explored motivational interviewing when it has been used to address academic concerns in schools. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of school counselors who have used motivational interviewing to improve student academic performance. This heuristic phenomenological qualitative study examined the perceptions and experiences of professional school counselors who had used motivational interviewing in their schools. Criterion sampling was used to recruit 9 middle and high schools counselors from across the United States. Interview data was analyzed using NVivo software and provisional coding, which revealed four specific themes: defining motivational interviewing in schools, explaining specific techniques, combining motivational interviewing with other theories, and training opportunities for school counselors. The themes that emerged from this study strengthen existing research and provide current and future school counselors with insight into the potential that motivational interviewing could bring to their school counseling programs.