Motivational Interviewing Training Options

Adaptive Training
Adaptive training is effective for teaching skills by incrementally increasing the complexity of tasks and activities. Using a gradual adaptive approach increases the likelihood that participants will comprehend and retain basic skills and then build on them. Starting off with simple and easy tasks and then moving to increasingly abstract and multifaceted activities is essential for learning the myriad of skills involved with skillfully performing MI. The adaptive training format that we use is based on the Eight Stages of Learning MI (Miller & Moyers, 2006) as well as the latest conceptualization of MI as occurring within the four processes (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). We begin with basic skill building and move to more sophisticated skill building over time. Participants have an opportunity to practice and get a good grasp of a particular skill before moving on to the next skill. While many of the exercises that we use focus on small, specific skills, it’s also important to allow participants to practice putting the skills together in longer, more conversational formats. As participants improve their skills some of the exercises transition to incorporate more difficult “sustained practice” or “put-it-all-together” activities. The “expert trap” is explicitly avoided and we instead develop equal partnerships and relationships with members of the training. We endeavor to “flatten” the hierarchy and help everyone feel as if they have something to contribute.

Our adaptive training format includes learning:
• Simple definitions and Spirit of MI
• Simple Micro OARS skills (Open ended questions, Affirmations, Reflections and Summary statements),
• Mid-level engagement skills including dancing with discord (previously rolling with resistance) and empathy
• Mid-level focusing skills including asking permission before giving advice, agenda mapping, and elicit-provide-elicit
• Mid-level evocation skills including recognizing change talk, eliciting change/confidence talk, and consolidating commitment
• Mid-level planning skills including how to transition to planning and elicit a plan effectively
• Complex “put-it-all-together” skills,
• Complex “recognize-when-to-be-in-each-process” skills and how to transition smoothly between them skills.


MI Bronze: Introduction to Motivational Interviewing: 2 day intensive. Learn the foundational principles and skills of MI.  Feel the “spirit” of MI through experiencing the change process through exercises that highlight change from your own perspective.  Learn to identify ways in which MI is both directive and empathic.  Experience didactic presentation, case examples, and interactive exercises.

MI Silver: Advanced Motivational Interviewing: 2 day advanced workshop. Each day spaced approximately one month from the introductory training to allow individualized practice of skills in your work setting.  Basic understanding of motivational interviewing principles and skills is assumed.  Experience increased hands on activities and skill/technique development.  Increase flexibility and ability to help individuals access their own motivation for change.

MI Gold Part 1: Orientation to Motivational Interviewing Coaching and Coding:  A one day training which introduces participants to the coaching and coding process.  Participants get to code tapes themselves which helps anchor the skills they have learned.  Additional practice builds your confidence before submitting your first tape for feedback.

MI Gold Part 2: Motivational Interviewing Coaching, and Coding:  Often utilized after initial MI training to ensure skill retention.  Participants receive the opportunity to audiotape sessions for fidelity coding.  MI skills become more second nature and the likelihood that skills are retained and utilized in practice increases.  Current training research indicates this type of follow up and support is the best way to ensure workshop effectiveness.

MI Platinum: Motivational Interviewing Integration Meetings:  The facilitation of meetings within your agency which include front-line staff, agency administrators, and other stakeholders.  The purpose of these meetings is to create long-term systems change in your agency and to create a culture where the use of Motivational Interviewing skills can flourish.  Current implementation science research indicates that these types of feedback loops are essential for sustainability.