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Is Motivational Interviewing for you?

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, guiding method of communication and counseling to elicit and strengthen motivation for change.

How useful is MI to your practice? How do you know if you need an introductory and/or an advanced workshop?

Do you have clients who can’t seem to make positive changes in their lives and are stuck in the same story?

  • Do you feel like you are experiencing the same conversation with your client each time you see them?
  • Would you like to be able to have a different conversation with them that navigates towards change?
  • How do you move the conversation away from resistance and the status quo and move your clients towards change?

Although ambivalence for behavior change is normal and a person can remain stuck in this cycle for years, one Motivational Interviewing conversation can create a shift in a perspective and movement towards that desired change.

“The greatest gift you can give another person is the purity of your attention”

— John C. Maxwell

Which workshop is for you?

These workshops are designed for everyone who wishes to develop their skills in supporting others in behavior change. How many workshops you attend will depend on your desire for proficiency since MI is a language and takes time to learn. I am available for private coaching in MI and am trained in the MITI 4.2.1 coding system for those wanting a coding/coaching session.

In the live workshops:

  • Identify and avoid traps that well-meaning practitioners fall into when talking to clients.
  • Learn how the relational and technical components of MI can improve all your conversations around change.
  • Learn to differentiate and practice how to use simple and complex reflections to demonstrate an understanding of client statements and elicit change.
  • Practice skills to elicit, recognize and reinforce “change talk” (when clients are arguing for change versus practitioner).
  • Demonstrations and practice using advanced skills of OARS (open questions, affirmations, reflections, summaries) with feedback.

Classes are conveniently separated into three distinct levels for your organization. Trainings can be
1, 2, 3 days depending on your needs and proficiency.

Introductory Workshop (1-2 days)

Introductory workshop introduces the basic skills and tools of using Motivational Interviewing to one’s area of practice. Participants will be able to learn and practice the four core skills used in Motivational Interviewing, observe demonstrations using MI and practice MI techniques in dyads and groups.

Concepts covered

  • Gain understanding of the “spirit” and key principles and theoretical basis of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and apply to one’s own practice.
  • Learn and practice MI skills and early strategies for use in practice.
  • Introduction to Advanced MI skills and application to future learning
  • Assess and understand how to integrate interpersonal style with primary skills for evoking intrinsic motivation in clients.
  • Receive feedback in MI practice behaviors.
  • Participants will engage and gain understanding in the ethical considerations of MI with clients.

MI Principles addressed

  • Style and Spirit
  • Reflective Listening
  • OARS (open-ended questions, simple and complex reflections, affirmations and summaries)
  • Pulling for Change Talk
  • Asking Permission
  • Listening for the backstory
  • 4 Fundamental processes/tasks of MI (engaging, focusing, evoking, planning)
  • Readiness Rulers of importance and confidence
  • Developing discrepancy between behavior and values
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

— Dr. Seuss

Intermediate Training (1-2 days)

This workshop is designed for those who have had at least one previous day of MI training and have some proficiency in using MI. Concepts above will be covered in more detail with practice involved for increasing proficiency.

  • Differentiate and practice simple and complex reflections.
  • Strategies to explore and resolve ambivalence.
  • Practice skills to elicit, recognize and reinforce Change Talk.
  • Recognize and identify MI skills through role plays.
  • Advance in MI skills with a focus on reducing client resistance to changing behavior.
Advanced Trainings and Train the Trainer Workshops (1-2 days)

This workshop is designed for those who have had at least two days of MI training, and more advanced proficiency in using MI. It is an opportunity for more intense practice of MI exercise and feedback.

Concepts Covered

  • Develop a personal plan for practicing and incorporating the primary skills and strategies of MI into counseling practice using MITI 4.2.1 coding.
  • Practice using advanced skills and demonstration of OARS with feedback.
  • Coding of video and audio tapes for OARS, and Globals (partnership, empathy, softening sustain talk and cultivating change talk).
  • Observe demonstrations of MI techniques.
  • Introduction of MITI 4.2.1 coding information.

Virtual Workshops

Virtual workshops are intended for those who want both information and practice in Motivational Interviewing and cannot attend a live workshop. Participants join the workshop via Zoom and will need a webcam for participation of exercises. For more information on virtual workshops see this link.

Coding and Coaching

Advancing your skills in Motivational Interviewing means you will want to submit a tape of a client you’ve worked with for coding. If you are interested in this service, email Susan for more details. A 20-minute coding can be submitted and coded with the MITI 4.2.1 coding standards for fidelity in MI. In addition, a coaching session associated with your tape can be arranged.

Additional Services

I am happy to provide supervision and individual training in Motivational Interviewing to professionals on an hourly basis. If you are interested in this service please contact me for further information.