Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based, person-centered way of talking with people about change and personal growth to strengthen the person’s own intrinsic motivation and commitment to change. MI addresses ambivalence and empowers people to make changes that are congruent with their own values and goals. This is an effective practice for culturally diverse populations and communities. MI has demonstrated improved outcomes in a wide range of service settings, cultures, populations and behaviors (e.g., problematic substance use, health-promotion, medical adherence, mental health).
The primary goals of this MI training, coaching, and feedback opportunity are for participants to:
- Understand MI and practice using it as an engagement strategy in your work with culturally diverse populations.
- Work together with the trainers, your MI Track team and the other MI track teams to practice applying MI in your work empowering others to reach their goals.
- Create and implement plans for developing personal MI proficiency and shift team practices to be even more consistent with MI foundational concepts.
Who can participate?
Organizations may propose a team of three to five behavioral health practitioners who are employed by the organization and already working together as a team to provide health or behavioral health services. This is an intensive learning opportunity requiring approximately 10-12 hours per month for a total of 40-50 hours per team member.
One member must be designated as the team leader and must have:
- Support from the organizational leadership to implement MI, including devoting 10-12 hours per month from April to August.
- Commitment to developing and maintaining their own proficiency in MI.
- Commitment to supporting their fellow MI team members’ proficiency in MI.
- Commitment to supporting effective MI learning practices.
Please note that this learning opportunity is not designed to prepare participants to train others in MI. Ineffective training in this approach leads to ineffective practice and increased reluctance to participate in subsequent effective MI learning opportunities.
Questions to consider before applying for Motivational Interviewing
Motivational Interviewing is, briefly, a collaborative conversation to strengthen a person’s own motivation for and commitment to change. To determine whether there is a potential role for small scale MI implementation in a team in your organization, consider the following questions (yes or no):
- Are there (or should there be) conversations about change happening?
- Will the outcomes for the people you serve be influenced by the extent to which they make changes in their lives or behavior?
- Is supporting people to make changes that are consistent with their own values and goals a part of your service (or should it be)?
- Are the people you serve often reluctant or ambivalent about making changes to move toward their goals?
- Are utilization, adherence, engagement, and retention in your services significant concerns?
- Are you enthusiastic about opportunities to work together with a trainer and coach to strengthen your own MI skills and support your fellow MI team members in strengthening their MI skills?
- Are you willing to engage in activities that involve observation of and feedback on your own MI skills, and practice new ways of working with the people you serve?
- Are you interested in supporting the expertise and wisdom of the people you serve in making decisions about making changes in their own lives?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, there may be a role for MI implementation in your team.
Is Motivational Interviewing a good fit for your organization and team?
MI is more likely to take root in a collaborative team culture. Such a culture evokes strengths and possibilities, elicits solutions from within (e.g., from people receiving services, their family members, fellow MI track team members, and other stakeholders), and values good listening as the key to operating effectively and efficiently.
MI effectiveness depends upon fidelity of practice, so benefits for the people you serve would not be expected until MI team members are demonstrating reasonable proficiency in MI.
There are some work settings where MI will not easily take root. In such settings, implementation of MI will require a paradigm shift in order to support changes in how services are provided. Consider whether any of the following assumptions might be dominant perspectives in your organization:
- “We are the experts here, and it’s up to us to take charge.”
- “We don’t have time to listen to people. We have too much to do.”
- “We’re not going to waste our time with people who are unmotivated.”
- “Our clients are in denial, dishonest, out of touch with reality, and incapable of changing on their own. There is no point in listening to them.”
- “The only language these people understand is to get in their face, scare them, and tell them what to do.”
- “They’re not going to change anyhow, even if we do our best.”
If any of the assumptions above apply to your organization or team, then it is important to know that the above philosophies of service are opposite to the underlying assumptions of MI. While a paradigm shift can occur, people working within such a climate may not welcome MI. There are still ways to implement MI in these settings. For example, having even one person who can work with people receiving services in a person-centered way may make a difference, particularly if it occurs early in the service delivery process. However, this learning opportunity is a whole team approach. We are looking for teams of 3-5 people who are committed to working together to fulfill the expectations of this track, develop proficiency using MI to deliver their services, and improve their outcomes.
Are you ready to implement MI in your team?
Prior to filling out an application, please review the Implementation Readiness Checklist (pdf) to learn more about what is required to implement this evidence-based practice.
What is required of participants for the MI training?
Recognizing that it takes more than a 3-day virtual intensive training to implement new practices, SAMHSA requests that participating NNED member teams commit to the full NNEDLearn 2023 training model which includes Prepare; Learn; Implement; and Sustain. Read more about NNEDLearn 2023.
Due to the NNEDLearn 2023 training being fully virtual, accepted applicants must have access to a stable internet connection in the NNEDLearn 2023 Motivational Interviewing training.
Objectives and expectations for each NNEDLearn stage for MI are as follows:
The first stage of NNEDLearn involves preparing the NNED member team for the Learn stage (virtual training), and requires that team members:
- Participate in two pre-meeting webinars (dates below).
- Meet virtually as a team with the trainers prior to the 3-day virtual training.
- Complete a 20-minute digital recording (.mp3, .mp4, or .wav format) of a conversation with a colleague or friend who is thinking about making a real change but has not yet started taking steps to make that change. Upload the recording using the link provided.
- Schedule and participate in a conversation with the trainer about feedback and coaching on your recording.
- Send your personal goals and team goals for outcomes of participating in NNEDLearn 2023 to the trainer and upload your team goals to the discussion forum.
- Collect team member baseline data on service participant engagement and retention rates.
From April 25 – 27, 2023, teams will attend a 3-day training via Zoom.
Participants will learn:
- The definition of MI and important foundational concepts for guiding conversations about change.
- The core skills used in MI and practice using them.
- The importance of change talk in supporting someone in making a change and practice identifying change talk when they hear it.
- Strategies for eliciting change talk.
After the Learn stage (virtual training), all MI teams will receive ongoing coaching to help support uptake of the practice. Team members will:
- Participate in four monthly implementation coaching calls with the trainer on the following dates (dates listed below).
- Participate weekly in self-reflection, practice, and the online discussion forum.
- Complete at least two more 20-minute digital recordings of a conversation with a colleague or friend about a real change they are thinking about making (one immediately post-training, and one at 1-2 months post- training). Upload to the link provided, and participate in at least two more individual feedback and coaching sessions with the trainer.
- Create and participate in a bimonthly Motivational Interviewing learning circle with your MI track team members, convened and led by the team leader, to practice MI skills, provide implementation updates and track outcomes.
All MI track teams will also be asked to complete a digital story/video documenting their team’s NNEDLearn experience, community need, and the implementation of the best practice. Please see the 2023 Digital Story (pdf) for additional information which contains important information on developing a digital story.
NNEDLearn teams are expected to pursue efforts to initiate and sustain Motivational Interviewing adherent practice and to demonstrate outcome and impact as reflected in the functioning of their team, the outcomes of their practice, and their MI track team service outcomes. Teams will have the opportunity to:
- Work with the MI track team leader on plans for collecting outcome data, including average engagement and retention rates for the team as a whole and the individual team members.
- Provide outcome data and feedback on the impact of the Motivational Interviewing track and NNEDLearn 2023.
Jennifer Frey, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Author, Mental Health Clinician, Motivational Interviewing Consultant, Researcher
Co-trainer: Tim Godden, BSc, BAA(J), MSW, RSW
Prepare Webinar One:
- March 21, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET OR
- March 21, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Prepare Webinar Two:
- March 29, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
Learn Stage (Virtual Training):
- Tuesday – Thursday, April 25 – 27, 2023 (via Zoom)
Implement Coaching Sessions: Four 1-hour coaching sessions:
- May 24, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
- June 14, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
- July 13, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
- August 2, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET
The application period for NNEDLearn 2023 is now closed.
Thank you to all who applied. If you have any questions, please email NNEDLearn@nnedlearn.net.
Email NNEDLearn@nnedlearn.net for any questions related to NNEDLearn 2023.