Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Child Youth Care Forum. 2013 December 1; 42(6): .


Copyright © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


A client’s motivation to receive services has long been identified as a highly relevant component of mental health treatment. In fact, ample evidence demonstrates that client motivation is significantly related to seeking services, remaining in services, and improved client outcomes (e.g., Broome, Joe, & Simpson, 2001; Ryan, Plant, & O’Malley, 1995; Schroder, Sellman, Frampton, & Deering, 2009). Additionally, it has been recognized that motivation is a “dynamic” characteristic that changes throughout treatment (Melnick, De Leon, Hawke, Jainchill, & Kressel, 1997; Schroder et al., 2009). In this way, motivation is an important client factor to assess and monitor throughout the treatment process.

The broad construct of motivation is comprised of two separate, but related components conceptualized as motivation to change and motivation for treatment. As defined by DiClamente, Schlundt, and Gemmell (2004), motivation to change refers to a willingness to recognize problematic behavior and take steps toward change, whereas motivation for treatment refers to a willingness to seek help and remain compliant with an intervention program. In other words, a motivated person not only perceives the importance of changing, but also has confidence that they are able to be successful at making the change (Burke, Arkowitz, & Menchola, 2003).