MI Training


On-Line Training Opportunities in Motivational Interviewing


Foundations of Motivational Interviewing

Instructor-Led online courses.



Foundations of Motivational Interviewing: Part I

Part 1: Syllabus |> COURSE FULL - Please check back for future dates

Discover the power of Motivational Interviewing in your review of its basic principles and underlying spirit. 
Learn one of the core skills of this dynamic counseling approach: how to be a reflective listener.


Foundations of Motivational Interviewing: Part II

Part 2: Syllabus |> COURSE FULL - Please check back for future dates

Enhance your understanding of MI and why it’s an evidence-based practice.  Refresh your skills in asking open-ended questions, affirming client strengths, and sharing effective summaries.  Find out how to provide information and guidance in an MI-consistent manner as you elicit and reinforce your client’s movement toward change.  Explore the research that confirms MI as an evidence-based practice. 



The Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainiers (MINT) also provides listings of training events and trainers who are members of that organization. That site also provides information about becoming a MINT member by participating in a Training of New Trainers (TNT). MINT is an international collective of trainers in motivational interviewing.


The process of learning MI has been described as having eight stages.

See a summary  of “The Eight Stages in Learning Motivational Interviewing” (Miller and Moyers, 2006)



Questions for Potential Trainers


What to Expect from Different Lengths of Training

Introductory Training:

Individual Study and Self-Training.

Perhaps the most common method by which clinicians explore MI is to study print materials and view training videotapes. Although this can provide some understanding of the basic approach, research by Miller and colleagues found that assigned self-training was not effective in improving clinical skillfulness in MI


Introduction to Motivational Interviewing (1 hour to 1 day).

Training of up to one day can acquaint the audience with basic concepts and methods of MI, but is unlikely to increase the clinical skillfulness of participants in the clinical method of MI. Depending on the audience, a trainer may provide some simple exercises that a practitioner can try with patients to get a "taste" of an MI style. Think of this level of training as helping participants to determine how interested they are in learning more about MI. The format may be primarily didactic, and may include live or videotaped demonstrations of MI.


Introductory Workshop (2-3 days).

With 16-24 hours of training contact time, it is possible to provide participants with an understanding of the spirit and method of MI, and to offer some practical experience in trying out this counseling approach. Expect a mix of didactic presentation, demonstration, and practice exercises. We recommend limiting the number of participants per trainer at this level, in order to allow some opportunity for observation and feedback. Limitations will vary depending on the precise goals and nature of the training, but we recommend no more than 40 participants per trainer even in the best of circumstances. Our research and experience caution that practitioners may leave a one-time introductory workshop overconfident in their mastery of MI. If feasible, it is probably better to provide this practical training in blocks of 4 hours or so, with opportunity in between for participants to practice MI and come back with experience and problems (for example, 4/4/4: 4 sessions of 4 hours each spread over 4 months). Adding opportunities for personal performance feedback (e.g., from practice audiotapes) and/or individual coaching can significantly increase the effectiveness of training in helping participants to improve their clinical proficiency. A reasonable goal for this level of training is not clinical proficiency, but rather to "learn how to learn" MI from ongoing practice.


Intermediate and Advanced Training:

Intermediate/Advanced Clinical Training (2-3 days).

Some practitioners who have learned the fundamentals of MI and have had an opportunity to practice it over time seek a more advanced level of clinical training in MI. At this level, the training should include analysis of practice audio or videotapes. Expect more demonstration and practice exercises, and less didactic material. Current focus in advanced clinical training is on differentiating change talk from commitment language, and learning how to elicit and shape the two. Prior proficiency and experience in the practice of MI are assumed.


Ongoing consultation and supervision (open-ended).

Most trainers share in the belief that ongoing on-site consultation and supervision is the best method to facilitate improvement in the practice of motivational interviewing and brief behavior consultations, and most training is provided through private contracts of this nature. This allows for the most thorough adaptation of MI methods to specifics of the providers' situation.


Other types of Training:

MI Supervisor Training (2-3 days).

These workshops are designed for people who have responsibility for the ongoing training and supervision of clinicians providing MI. Their goal is to prepare an on-site expert supervisor who can continue to guide and shape the practice of clinicians in a program or system. Training includes expertise in systems for monitoring and coding session tapes for clinical practice. Prior proficiency and experience in the practice of MI are assumed.


MI Coder Training (2-3 days).

These workshops focus on fidelity monitoring and process coding of MI as delivered in research protocols. Training may focus on one or more systems including the MITI. Extensive opportunity for coding practice is necessary. Coders are not trained to actually deliver MI, but rather to code tapes reliably. Clinical expertise is not required.