Understanding Interoceptive Awareness: A Deep Dive into the MAIA-2 Assessment Instrument at BHCS

Chris Berman | Oct 20, 2023 | 3 min read


We're thrilled to feature Chris Berman, our talented intern at Behavioral Health Consulting Solutions (BHCS), as he reviews the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, Version 2 (MAIA-2). This instrument is a game-changer for clinicians and patients alike, offering valuable insights into emotional and physical well-being.

What is the MAIA-2?

The MAIA-2 is a self-administered questionnaire designed to measure various aspects of interoceptive awareness, such as the ability to regulate internal distress and trust in the body's signals. It's particularly effective in assessing conditions like major depressive disorder, alexithymia, and emotion dysregulation.

Description of the Instrument

The MAIA-2 comprises 37 questions that explore eight dimensions of interoception:

  • Noticing
  • Not distracting
  • Not worrying
  • Attention regulation
  • Emotional awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Body listening
  • Trusting the body

Psychometric Qualities

The MAIA-2 uses eight subscales to gauge the level of interoceptive awareness a client experiences. Its validity has been proven reliable, particularly for treating major depressive disorder.

Scoring and Interpretation

Scoring is done using a six-point Likert scale, ranging from 0 (never) to 5 (always). The scores for each of the eight subscales are averaged, and higher scores indicate beneficial interoceptive awareness. These scores are then compared to normative percentiles to assess a client's level of interoceptive awareness.

Strengths and Limitations

The MAIA-2 is simple, non-invasive, and can be taken privately at home. It provides clinicians with a glimpse into the client's subjective experience. However, its reliance on self-reports can be both a strength and a limitation due to the subjective nature of the questions.

Application in Practice at BHCS

At BHCS, we often work with clients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, and sensory processing disorder (SPD). Alexithymia and low interoceptive awareness are frequently comorbid with these conditions. As a clinician, it's crucial to administer both the MAIA-2 and the TAS-20 to assess for these issues. This approach allows for more effective counseling and treatment planning.


The MAIA-2 is an invaluable tool for clinicians and is becoming a standard practice at BHCS. It offers a comprehensive understanding of a client's emotional and physical state, aiding in more effective treatment strategies.

Further Reading and Resources


BHCS Facebook


Desdentado, L., et al. (2022). Current Psychology.

Eggart, M., et al. (2021). PloS One.

Fiskum, C., et al. (2023). BMC Psychiatry.

Vaiouli, P., et al. (2022). Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice.

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