Course Description

Motivational interviewing (MI), developed by clinical psychologists William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, is a directive, client-centered approach used to strengthen clients’ motivation for positive behaviour change by exploring and resolving feelings of ambivalence. Research has shown that the MI approach, first developed for work with problem drinkers, is effective in activating positive behaviour change for a wide range of concerns including substance abuse, mental health problems, unhealthy relationships, diabetes management, smoking cessation, weight loss, unemployment and health care improvement.

Learner Outcomes

This two-day interactive workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental principles and techniques of motivational interviewing. Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the basic concepts of motivational interviewing, including its spirit and essential strategies.
  • Describe the stages of change model and explain the relationship between motivational interventions and stages of change.
  • Assess clients’ readiness for change.
  • Implement motivational interviewing strategies to explore and resolve clients' feelings of ambivalence or resistance to change including eight different strategies for responding to resistance.
  • Identify and facilitate "change talk" in their clients including nine different strategies for eliciting “change talk.”
  • Strengthen empathic engaging skills (described by the OARS acronym).
  • Practice applying MI to address difficult situations.


For more information contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office:

Email: fswprofessionaldevelopment@wlu.ca
Kitchener: 519-884-0710 ext. 5234
Milton: 519-884-0710 ext. 5235
Online: 519-884-0710 ext. 5235

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

This workshop is currently not available. The 2021/2022 Faculty of Social Work Professional Development course and workshop dates will be available in early July 2021. 
Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
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