Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based practice in the treatment of individuals with health and behavioral health issues. MI works across a range of culturally diverse populations and behaviors including problematic substance use, health promotion, medical adherence, and mental health issues. MI is a collaborative, person-centered, counseling method for addressing the common problem of ambivalence about change. The method supports change in a manner that is congruent with the person’s own values and concerns and is an effective practice for culturally diverse populations and communities. 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 trainer and other participants to practice applying MI in your work empowering others to reach their goals.
- Create and implement plans for developing personal MI proficiency and shifting 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 to provide health or behavioral health services. One member must be designated as the team leader and must have:
- Support from the organizational leadership to implement MI.
- Commitment to developing and maintaining their own proficiency in MI.
- Commitment to supporting their fellow team members’ proficiency in MI.
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 such changes a part of your service (or should it be)?
- Are the people you serve often reluctant or ambivalent about making changes?
- Are utilization, adherence, engagement, and retention in your services significant concerns?
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, staff, 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 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 culture 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, then it is important to know that the above philosophies of service are opposite to the underlying assumptions of MI. While culture change 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.
MI is more likely to take root in a collaborative organizational culture. Such a culture evokes strengths and possibilities, elicits solutions from within (e.g., from people receiving services, their family members, staff, and other stakeholders), and values good listening as the key to operating effectively and efficiently.
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 2021 training model which includes Prepare; Learn; Implement; and Sustain. Read more about NNEDLearn 2021.
Due to the NNEDLearn 2021 training being fully virtual, accepted applicants must have access to a stable internet connection in the NNEDLearn 2021 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, friend or family member who talks to them about a real change they are thinking about making or wanting to make and upload to the trainer’s secure server.
- Schedule a time with the trainer to receive feedback on the recording.
- Participate in a conversation with the trainer about feedback on the recording.
- Send your personal goals and team goals for outcomes of participating in NNEDLearn 2021 to the trainer.
- Collect team member baseline data on service participant engagement and retention rates.
From March 23 – 25, 2021, teams will attend a 3-day training via Zoom.
Participants will learn:
- The definition of MI and important foundational concepts.
- 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 1-hour group coaching sessions with the trainer on the following dates (dates listed below).
- Participate weekly in the online discussion forum.
- Complete two (immediately post-training, and at 3-4 months post- training) 20-minute digital recordings of a conversation with a colleague, friend, or family member about a real change they are thinking about making or wanting to make, upload to the trainer’s server, and participate in at least two individual feedback and coaching sessions with the trainer.
- Create and participate in a bimonthly Motivational Interviewing learning community with your team members, convened and led by the team leader.
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 team service outcomes. Teams will have the opportunity to:
- Work with the 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 2021.
Jennifer Frey, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Motivational Interviewing Consultant
Co-trainer: Tim Godden, BSc, BAA(J), MSW, RSW
Prepare Webinar One:
- February 24, 2021, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm ET
Prepare Webinar Two:
- March 5, 2021, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
Learn Stage (Virtual Training):
- Tuesday – Thursday, March 23 – 25, 2021 (via Zoom)
Implement Coaching Sessions: Four 1-hour coaching sessions:
- May 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
- June 3, 2021 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
- July 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
- August 5, 2021 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
The application period for NNEDLearn 2021 is now closed.
Thank you to all who applied for Motivational Interviewing! Organizations selected to participate in the training will be notified in early February.
Email NNEDLearn@nnedlearn.net for any questions related to NNEDLearn 2021.