Motivational Interviewing is a favored Evidence-Based Practice because it increases engagement between staff and offender and retention in services of our mandated clients. It’s a helpful way of assisting people in finding their own reasons for change.

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Here are some highlights from the MI-20 courses:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (MI): Explores the core principles of MI, and starts answering important questions. Why do people change? Why do people not change? When does change occur? Reviews effective and ineffective motivators to change, along with some of the confusing misconceptions and myths surrounding Motivational Interviewing. 
  • Module 2: The Spirit of MI: Explores in detail the four (4) essential elements of MI: Partnership, Acceptance, Compassion, and Evocation. Participants witness the difference between an interview conducted in the spirit of MI and one that is not. The myth of the unmotivated client is explored. 
  • Module 3: The Four (4) Processes and Three Styles of MI: Discusses the four (4) key processes comprising MI (Engage, Focus, Evoke, and Plan). Explores the “typical sequence” of an MI interview considers the three styles of MI (Directing, Guiding, and Following). 
  • Module 4: The Four (4) Principles of Motivational Interviewing: Starts with a deep look into human motivation. Examines four (4) dimensions of the MI Spirit and teaches how MI is a skill-set that also includes a “heart-set.” Reviews four (4) Principles of MI (Express Empathy, Develop Discrepancy, the Roll of Resistance, and Supporting Self-efficacy). Considers how most clients come in your door truly ambivalent to change (I want to change / I don’t want to change) and how people get stuck. Ends with an examination of the “readiness to change.” 
  • Module 5: Client-Centered Counseling Skills (1): Open-Ended Questions & Affirmations: Examines client-centered counseling skills, and then considers how sessions where the staff person talks more than the client are doomed to poor outcomes. Moves to discuss the value of open ended questions. (Think you use enough of them? Be ready for a surprise!) Examines how to increase these types of questions during an interview. Also addresses affirmations, validating, and re-framing. 
  • Module 6: Client-Centered Counseling Skills (II): Reflections: Explores the art of reflective listening. Takes a deep look into three (3) types of reflections (Repetition, Simple-Paraphrase, and Complex). Considers cautions as participants enhance their listening skills and the twelve (12) roadblocks to listening are provided. 
  • Module 7: Client-Centered Counseling Skills (III): Summaries: Provides a great chance to collect change talk from the client and offer it back to them! Reviews collecting, linking, and transitioning summaries and considers how they differ. Learns when each type of summary might be helpful. A series of exercises increaes your skills for offering effective summaries. 
  • Module 8: Resistance Examined: New Tools for an Old Problem: Reviews the processes and principles of MI, then looks at how to work with clients who don’t want to work with you. Moves to examine how to both recognize, and respond to resistance. Practices responding to resistance and teaches five (5) resistance-lowering techniques that you’ll want to have in your tool box. 
  • Module 9: Recognizing and Eliciting Change Talk: Identifies types of change talk and building desire to change, ability, reason and need to change. Explores skills for recognizing and reflecting change talk. Teaches the process of asking open questions, reflecting a client’s own change talk, affirming their perceptions, and summarizing. 
  • Module 10: Developing Discrepancy: Takes another look at recognizing and eliciting change talk. Considers what you can do when you hear no change talk! Sometimes change talk is in short supply or nonexistent. Explores ways of creating or evoking change talk to increase motivation. 
  • Module 11: Responding and Reinforcing Change Talk: Considers how to build motivation through increasing change talk and enhancing a sense of collaboration. Teaches ways to avoid self-reinforcing loop of “push-push back” and finds the advantage to “protecting the negative.” 
  • Module 12: The “Semi-Directive” Nature of MI: Summaries & Directive Reflecting: Emphasizes that MI isn’t just a “nice way to talk to clients.” It’s a directive set of skills to influence behavior change. Teaches this influence, and practices through exercises and quizzes. 
  • Module 13: From Evoking to Planning: Change Planning with the Client: Explores how to assess readiness for change, methods for evoking goals, and strategies for evaluation. Describes preparations for effective client planning. 
  • Module 14: Strengthening Commitment – Supporting Action towards Change: Continues the discussion for the importance of moving a client toward action. Resistance and ambivalence can crop up anytime, especially as the client considers change! Explores in detail strengthening commitment, exploring this resistance, and utilizing “flexible revisiting.”. 
  • Module 15: Another Look at Resistance: Responding to Sustain Talk and Discord: Takes a deeper look at resistance. Identifies how to understand sustain talk (“I don’t want to change!”) and discord (“Who are you to tell me to change?”). Provides specific strategies and tools for responding to these types of talk. Examines how staff can unintentionally contribute to discord. 
  • Module 16: Problem Discussions, Giving Advice and Exchanging Information with an MI Focus: Addresses the topic of advice giving. Reviews common traps for advice giving and examines the principles for giving good advice. Provides a thorough exploration of the MI style of giving information. 
  • Module 17: Navigating the Tough Times: Working with Deception, Breaks with Agency Mandates and Sanctions (Denial or Withdrawal of Services): Tackles some thorny issues in MI implementation—reviews client’s lying and deception. Provides specific strategies and tools to help staff with these troublesome situations. Offers suggestions for addressing violations of agency/court/organization’s rules or codes of conduct. 
  • Module 18: Learning Motivational Interviewing - Experiencing A New Approach to Service Delivery: Considers the value of grading actual practice samples (“coding”), and reviews utilizing coaching groups, and direct feedback for improve your practice skills. Explores roadblocks for implementation. 
  • Module 19: A Deeper Look at Engagement and Focusing: Learning How to Walk Together - Towards the Same Destination: Explores some common interviewing traps, and issues to examine about how to “get focused and stay focused” with clients. Examines three (3) focusing situations (clear direction, choices in direction, unclear direction). 
  • Module 20: From Start to Finish: Putting Motivational Interviewing Into Practice: Completes the entire MI series by providing participants with an opportunity to name and identify the practice skills related to the four MI processes of: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning. Get ready to “put it all together!” Provides additional discussion for transfer of MI skills to other settings, including those with significant time constraints.

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I love the skill-building resources. To have the “Peer Group 20” companion resources means my staff can begin to learn Motivational Interviewing but can also begin to work to build their skills.

- John Dommett
  CEO

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Try some real-world interactive examples from several of our current modules.

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