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 congruent with the person’s own values and concerns and thus an effective practice for culturally diverse populations and communities. The primary goals of the MI training, coaching, and feedback opportunity are for participants to:
- Understand MI and practice using the practice as an engagement strategy in your work as a NNED member working 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 program 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 from the organization. One member must be the team leader, who must have:
- Support from the organizational leadership to implement MI.
- Commitment to attaining 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 MI 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 people you serve often reluctant or ambivalent about making changes?
- Are utilization, adherence, engagement, and retention in your services significant concerns?
- Do staff struggle with or complain about people who are “unmotivated,” “resistant,” or “difficult”?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, there may be a role for MI in your organization.
Is Motivational Interviewing a good fit for your organization?
Effectiveness of MI depends upon fidelity of practice, so benefits for the people you serve would not be expected until staff have developed and are maintaining reasonable proficiency in delivering 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 service delivery.
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 the MI program?
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?
Recognizing that it takes more than a 2½-day training to implement new practices, SAMHSA requests that participating NNED member teams commit to the full NNEDLearn 2020 training model which includes Prepare; Learn; Implement; and Sustain. Read more about NNEDLearn 2020.
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 (onsite training), and requires that team members:
- Participate in two pre-meeting webinars (dates below).
- Complete a 20-minute digital recording (.mp3, .mp4, or .wav format) of a conversation with a colleague, friend or family member 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 organizational goals for outcomes of participating in NNEDLearn 2020 to the trainer.
- Collect baseline data on program and team members’ engagement and retention rates.
From March 8 – 11, 2020, teams will attend a 2½-day training at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
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 (onsite 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 regularly 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 secure 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 program outcomes. Teams will have the opportunity to:
- Work with the team leader to collect outcome data, including average engagement and retention rates for both the program and the team members.
- Provide outcome data and feedback on the impact of the Motivational Interviewing track and NNEDLearn 2020.
Jennifer Frey, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Motivational Interviewing Consultant
Prepare Webinar One:
- February 11, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
Prepare Webinar Two:
- February 18, 2020, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET
Learn Stage (Onsite Training):
- Sunday – Wednesday, March 8 – 11, 2020 (Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico)
Implement Coaching Sessions: Four 1-hour coaching sessions:
- May 11, 2020, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET
- June 1, 2020, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET
- July 15, 2020, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET
- August 3, 2020, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET
Email NNEDLearn@nnedlearn.net for any questions related to NNEDLearn 2020.