Course Overview

This lesson helps build a better grasp of the fundamental driving factors behind Motivational Interviewing. You will learn the four principles that combine with the Spirit of Motivational Interviewing to develop stategies for change talk.

Purpose of this Course

  1. To develop an understanding of where motivation comes from and how it intertwines with the practice of Motivational Interviewing.
  2. To develop an understanding of the four principles of Motivational Interviewing that help develop a strategy of conversation aimed at creating change.
  3. To provide 1.0 continuing education hours for Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP) specific to substance abuse.
  4. To provide 1.0 continuing education hours for Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative (MI-CEC).
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Credit Hours: MCBAP-R (0.0) MCBAP-S (1.0) Mi-CEC (1.0) Nursing (0.0)
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This course is unavailable for direct enrollment, please contact the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan.

Topics Covered

The Five Dimensions of Motivation

Explore the five dimensions of motivation to understand how to master the art of motivating clients to change behavior themselves.

  • Predicts Action
  • Behavior Specific
  • Interactive
  • Changeable
  • Internal and External Influences

In order to understand the principles of Motivational Interviewing, it will be helpful to understand how motivation works and where it comes from and what factors lead to long term behavior change.

The Four Principles of Motivational Interviewing

The principles that set Motivational Interviewing ahead of all other practices have been developed and tailored to meet client needs. The principles represent conversational strategies that can help resolve internal conflict within clients. Learn these four effective pieces of Motivational Interviewing and get real examples of each technique with feedback for each.

Express Empathy

Building a collaborative relationship with a client is extremely important. Learning what being empathetic with your clients means can be the difference between success and failure to change. Learn how empathy in a client-staff relationship is not a feeling, but a behavior.

Develop Discrepancy

Staff values and beliefs need to be separated from client behaviors. Conversations with clients should not express approval or disapproval. Find out how to pivot a client’s change based on their own behaviors by evoking instead of installing. 

Roll with Resistance

Bringing about change in a client’s behavior or actions is difficult and not without bumps in the road. Clients have a need to feel they are in control of their own decisions, which can create resistance when trying to motivate behavior change. Learning how to overcome that resistance is not the answer, but instead learning how to adapt to resistance reflecting the client’s ambivalence. Handling client resistance in a clinical setting is covered much more in depth in (lesson that deals with it). 

Support Self-Efficacy

Changing a client’s “I can’t…” to a determined “I can change…” in Motivational Interviewing will come from within the client. Behavior change can be daunting and overwhelming for anyone, and it is important to NOT try to provide suggestions or solutions, but to provide support. Learn and view examples of how to provide client support.

Strategizing for Change

The true end goal of Motivational Interviewing is to enhance intrinsic motivation to change behavior. It is important to try to map a plan to assist clients in getting to the behavior change. We also want to have an ability to recognize what types of conversation might push a client further off track and what type of talk will help push a client toward the goal. Review what signals to search for and what to avoid when working through a session.

Who Should Take This Course

  • Therapists
  • Counselors
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Professionals seeking continuing education hours to meet requirements for renewal of the following certifications:
    • Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC)
    • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)
    • Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS)
    • Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)
    • Certified Prevention Consultant – Reciprocal (CPC-R)
    • Certified Peer Recovery Mentor (CPRM)

Additional Considerations

"What does it matter if the client's behavior is inconsistent with my values? It is only a discrepancy with the client's own values that will trigger change." - William Miller


Course Objectives

  1. You will have completed a review of the five dimensions of human motivation.
  2. You will also have completed a review of the four dimensions of MI spirit.
  3. You will examine the four (4) principles of Motivational Interviewing with a complete investigation into these four principles; express empathy, develop discrepancy, roll with resistance and supporting self-efficacy.
  4. You will be able to discern “red lights and green lights” - learning this metaphor which can help steer our responses to match client responses.
  5. You will be able to identify ambivalence and be able to describe why ambivalence to change is normal. This module will help you appreciate ambivalence as a precursor to change, teaching us to look for it while we help the client respect their own ambivalence that they may feel.
  6. And finally, you will have examined importance and confidence scaling and come to understand how using these techniques can increase a client’s readiness to change.

What People Are Saying

The module experience was a learning tool to further good practice in my work environment.

- Tanya B.