Journal of Undergraduate Research


motivational interview, evidence-based practice, therapeutic recreation


Marriott School of Management


Recreation Management


Diseases related to aging, developmental disorders, mental illnesses, acquired physical disabilities, and traumatic events cause untold human suffering each year. Many professionals seek to alleviate such suffering, including the discipline of therapeutic recreation (TR), which uses a holistic process of targeted interventions, leisure education, recreation participation, and experiential learning to encourage positive change in clients. When working with clients, recreation therapists (RTs) need evidence and direction for using the best practices in therapeutic communication1. One such type of therapeutic communication, Motivational Interviewing (MI), has become popular since the 1970s, especially within mental health and substance abuse fields2. MI “helps clients explore and resolve ambivalence,” discuss “overcoming barriers to change,” recognize their own desires for improved outcomes, and make plans to change3 behavior(s). Drawing on the growing interdisciplinary evidence, this study explored the literature to compile “evidence tables” needed by practicing and academic RTs4 to improve the field and reduce human suffering.