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What is Motivational Interviewing? 


Motivational interviewing is a way of being with a client, not just a set of techniques for doing counseling. Miller and Rollnick, 1991


Motivational interviewing is a technique in which you become a helper in the change process and express acceptance of your client. It is a way to interact with substance-using clients, not merely as an adjunct to other therapeutic approaches, and a style of counseling that can help resolve the ambivalence that prevents clients from realizing personal goals. Motivational interviewing builds on Carl Rogers' optimistic and humanistic theories about people's capabilities for exercising free choice and changing through a process of self-actualization. The therapeutic relationship for both Rogerian and motivational interviewers is a democratic partnership. Your role in motivational interviewing is directive, with a goal of eliciting self-motivational statements and behavioral change from the client in addition to creating client discrepancy to enhance motivation for positive change (Davidson, 1994; Miller and Rollnick, 1991). Essentially, motivational interviewing activates the capability for beneficial change that everyone possesses (Rollnick and Miller, 1995). Although some people can continue change on their own, others require more formal treatment and support over the long journey of recovery. Even for clients with low readiness, motivational interviewing serves as a vital prelude to later therapeutic work.


What to expect for this Learning Collaborative: 


This project will target 6 regions in the state of Missouri.  It will be offered to Coalition members and Kid’s first members in these regions who have an interest in expanding and maintaining Motivational Interviewing within their practice and agency.  This project will require an 8 month commitment from the staff involved to complete both phases of training.


Phase 1 will consist of a two day intensive training in each of the 6 identified regions of the state, individual coaching/supervision, and group coaching/supervision.  Prior to the 2 day intensive training all participants will be asked to complete an online MI module. 


The 2 day training will be highly experiential, with a focus on practical skill development and implementation.  It will also focus on helping staff understand how MI fits in with the DLA 20, stages of change, treatment planning, and documentation.


Following the 2 day intensive workshop, there will be a 6 month commitment made by trainees to specifically work on improving their MI skills. There will be a monthly agency group supervision conference call were the trainees in each region of the state gather for practice and feedback.


The goal of Phase 1 is to have several practitioners across the state that are proficient in the practice of Motivational Interviewing.  

Phase 2 will consist of 6 regional one day follow up trainings to discuss any standing issues or concerns after taking back what they learning in phase one and the 6 months of follow up calls.


It is important to note that only the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) provides official “Training New Trainers” trainings, which allows individuals to join the network of training.  That is well beyond the scope of this training, though all that are interested will be encouraged to pursue that level of training.  So rather than refer to this as a “train the trainer” process, which could be confusing with the official MINT trainings, it would be more accurate to refer to this process as MI Champion training, MI for supervisors, or something else along those lines that is clearly distinct. 


Upon completion of the Training program, trainees will:


  • Participants will grow in their ability to positively increase the likelihood of change through the use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques by helping clients discover their own reasons for change, examine their ambivalence, and enhance confidence/readiness for change.

  • Participants will greatly enhance their use of OARS (open ended questions, affirmations, summaries) and responses to client change/sustain talk through intensive training, group supervision, auto tape coding and feedback, and individual supervision tailored to each participant’s developmental needs.  The goal for each participant is to reach basic proficiency in MI as measured by the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity scale (MITI).

  • Participants will learn exercises, strategies for supervision, implementation plans, and basic coding skills for supervision that will allow them to begin creating a culture of MI in their workplace.  Participants will become MI Champions who will be able to help other staff members develop skills in MI to better serve their target populations.


This learning Collaborative is currently on-going. More information will be posted about additional training opportunities in the near future. Thank you! 

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