Motivational Interviewing Skills Code (MISC) 2.1



The Motivational Interviewing Skills Code (MISC) is the original behavioral coding system that provides comprehensive information about the process of motivational interviewing (MI). It can be to provide detailed feedback to counselors learning MI, to evaluate gains in training, to conduct therapy process research, to insure the integrity of MI interventions in clinical trials, and to examine relationships between therapy process measures and client outcomes. The MISC is particularly well suited to investigate processes within MI sessions, to illuminate causal mechanisms within MI, to investigate questions relating to client behavior during sessions and behavior change, and to investigate expert-level use of MI. We believe that the MISC 2.1 is the most precise MI process coding instrument available, providing detailed information about both therapist and client behaviors during MI sessions.

The MISC examines counselor behaviors as well as client commitment language. This system involves two coding passes: (1) Therapist globals and specific therapist behavior counts, (2) client globals and specific client behavior counts. The MISC is intended for use with an entire therapy session. The MISC 2.1 incorporates the Client Language Assessment in Motivational Interviewing (CLAMI) system, developed to code client change language categories. The MISC 2.1 manual can be downloaded here. Previous versions can be found on the archive page.

Training Materials

Two sessions from the Motivational Interviewing Professional Training Videotape Series (1998) have been coded using the MISC 2.1. Video ordering information and download links for the uncoded transcripts are given below.

Because examples of low-quality MI are not widely available, we have created sessions using role-plays with simulated patients for training purposes. Download links for the audio files and MISC 2.1 uncoded transcripts are given below. To download the audio files, right-click with your mouse and select "Save target as" or "Save link as".


Moyers, T., Martin, T., Catley, D., Harris, K. J., & Ahluwalia, J. S. (2003). Assessing the integrity of motivational interviewing interventions: Reliability of the Motivational Interviewing Skills Code. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 31(2), 177–184.