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Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing—Course Syllabus

Instructor: Janese Olalde, LMFT, MAC, CADC II, CGAC II
Office: N/A
Office Hours: N/A
Phone: 541-870-6706
Course CRN(s):
Credits: 1
Course Location: Bend, OR 
Course Meeting Schedule: Wednesday and Thursday, June 26th and 27th, 2019: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Course Description

This course will introduce the principles and theory of Motivational Interviewing. The course will cover client-centered approaches to helping individuals make behavioral changes by encouraging the person to explore and resolve their ambivalence about changing their behavior. Students will learn about the stages of change and learn to apply strategies for intervening effectively at each stage of the change process. This model has a broad application for all treatment providers, criminal justice workers, healthcare personnel, educators and other human services practitioners.

Content Areas

This course teaches the Motivational Interviewing process and approach which elicits and effects positive change in the lives of people struggling with life choices and personal behavior which affects their overall health, well-being and function. This course allows the facilitation and implementation of MI strategies.

Program Outcomes

From the course, students will: learn the conceptual models of motivation and MI; be able to describe key elements of the motivational interviewing style; understand and be able to describe the structure and process of MI; comprehend and demonstrate the MI stance; learn and list the stages of change and people’s arguments for change in each stage; learn about the role of the professional in the process of change; demonstrate an attitude of respect, warmth, non-judgment, interest and optimism that change is possible; and complete practice as MI facilitators.

Course Outcome Assessment
Learn the conceptual models of motivation and MI. Describe key elements of the motivational interviewing style.
Understand the structure and process of MI and comprehend the MI stance. Describe and demonstrate the MI stance.
Learn the stages of change and people’s arguments for change in each stage and understand the professional’s role in the process of change. List the stages of change and be able to describe how and where the MI model is most effective in the stages of change.
Complete practice as MI facilitators. Demonstrate through practice an attitude of respect, warmth, non-judgment, interest and optimism that change is possible.


Required Texts: Miller, W. R. & Rollnick, S. (2013) Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. 3rd ed.    Guilford Press: N.Y., N.Y.

Course Schedule: Students will need to have read Course Text, Pgs 1 to 89 by first day of class, Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Course Schedule:

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019: 8:30 AM-4:00 PM

  1. Conversations About Change
  2. Strengthening Empathy
  3. Spirit of Motivational Interviewing
  4. Establish and Maintain the Relationship
  5. Affirmations and Strengths
  6. Reflections and Summaries
  7. Directive Listening

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 8:30 AM-4:00 PM

  1. Open-Ended Questions
  2. OARS Volley
  3. Ambivalence
  4. Stages of Change
  5. Dealing with Discord
  6. Focusing and Evoking
  7. Treatment Planning and Course Evaluation



Participation and Attendance (25 pts): As this is a one credit, two day course you are expected to attend all sessions and activities. You are expected to participate in all class sessions, small group activities, skills practice and large group discussions. The option of making-up course work will be decided on an individual basis and only with advance notice.

Spirit of Motivational Interviewing Paper (25 pts): Read pgs 1 to 89 of the Class Text. Write a paper (5 pages minimum), typed and double-spaced summarizing the key elements of the motivational interviewing style. Also write about specific MI strategies, interventions and techniques. Include how and where the MI model is most effective with the Transtheoretical Stages of Change model. (Need to include a brief description of each stage of change in order to best exemplify the effectiveness of MI strategies.) (due Thursday, July 11, 2019)

Video summaries (5 pts each x 5 = 25 pts): Watch a minimum of five Motivational Interviewing demonstration videos on youtube of 10 minutes each. Use a video observation sheet to identify and record MI skills of reflections, open-ended questions, affirmations and summaries. Write a 1 page summary of each video including your thoughts of what you saw and what specific MI strategies, interventions, and techniques that you observed. (due Thursday, July 11, 2019)

Intentional Conversations Activity and Reflection paper (25 pts): Have three Intentional Conversations of approximately 30 minutes each with three different individuals where you will actively practice your listening skills and reflections. Try to choose an interaction in which you might normally be inclined to give advice and try to refrain from doing so. Afterward, reflect on the experiences and address the following questions in a Reflection paper (5 pgs minimum), typed, double-spaced: a. What was it like to listen intentionally instead of using other skills such as questions? b. How did your conversation partner react? c. In what ways were you able to vary your type of reflection? d. What was difficult about doing this type of listening? e. What did you learn from this interaction about your own style? (due Thursday, July 11, 2019)


Grading will be based on the following: 25 pts attendance and participation, 25 pts Spirit of Motivational Interviewing paper, Video summaries (5) 25 pts and Intentional Conversations activity and reflection paper 25 pts = 100 pts Total