Seminar Detail

Motivational Interviewing: Evidence-Based Skills to Effectively Treat Your Clients
Motivational Interviewing: Evidence-Based Skills to Effectively Treat Your Clients


When:  Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

Do you have clients who:

Can’t seem to get started on making positive changes in their lives or begin but get bogged down?

Can’t quite find their direction or stop focusing on how others are to blame for their situation?

Resist nearly everything offered in support of helping them make their lives better?

All of these are common challenges across a range of settings, populations and clinical concerns.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) has emerged over the past two decades as a leading approach for addressing a core clinical concern – motivation.

Incorporating the latest MI developments, this workshop focuses on the key elements that can transform your practice to escape struggling with clients and make real change in people’s lives.

  • Learn how the MI process works and its application in different clinical situations
  • Discover why friends and family often contribute to motivational challenges that clients experience
  • Identify and avoid some traps that well-meaning helpers can fall into
  • Recognize how to thread the needle and help clients find new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving

Join motivational interviewing expert, trainer and author, Chris Wagner, Ph.D., for this action packed day! Learn how to effectively focus clients’ attention on embracing change and successfully anticipating and surmounting obstacles they face as they pursue it. You will leave this workshop inspired and prepared to help your clients get unstuck and begin creating more fulfilling lives. Register today!

  1. Correlate the relational and technical components that make MI work.
  2. Model how the 4 processes and OARS skills of MI help change happen.
  3. Explore ways to elicit and respond effectively to change talk.
  4. Practice specific ways to help your clients resolve ambivalence and talk themselves into change.
  5. Develop strategies for working effectively with clients who seem “resistant” to change.
  6. Choose how to effectively use MI with specific disorders.

  • What is motivation?
  • How ambivalence fits
  • Stages of change
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Conversations about change
  • Resolve ambivalence about change
  • Relational and technical components that make MI work
The 4 Processes of MI

1. Engaging: The Relational Foundation
  • MI spirit: PACE
    • Partnership
    • Acceptance
    • Compassion
    • Empathy
  • Learn to listen reflectively – the backbone of MI
  • Core MI Skills: OARS
    • Open-questions
    • Affirmations
    • Reflections
    • Summaries
  • Clarify values and goals
2. Focusing: The Strategic Direction
  • Find a focus
  • Match your agenda to the client’s concerns
  • Exchange information
3. Evoking: Preparation for Change
  • Importance of change talk – a key ingredient of MI
    • Listen for and respond to change talk
    • Listen for specific kinds of change talk:
      • DARN (preparatory change talk)
      • CATS (mobilizing change talk)
    • Elicit more and elaborate on change talk
  • Respond to “resistance” in clients
  • Develop discrepancy
  • Evoke hope and confidence
4. Planning: The Bridge to Change
  • How and when to plan
  • Call on the CATS
  • Summarize and then ask a key question
Putting it All Together
  • Test skills by coding a MI video in action
MI and Clinical Problems
  • Depression and Anxiety
    • Enhance treatment engagement
    • Potentiate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Suicidal clients
  • Addictive Behaviors
    • Substance use
    • Other addictive/compulsive behaviors
    • 12 steps


Christopher C. Wagner, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Virginia and faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University, with appointments in Rehabilitation Counseling, Psychology and Psychiatry. He began practicing MI in the 1990s and became a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) in 1998. From 2000-2008, he served in leadership positions in MINT, twice as chair of the network, and he has led three of their international training-of-trainers events. He was re-elected to the MINT board of directors in 2018.

Dr. Wagner has offered hundreds of MI trainings in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia/Oceania. In addition to focusing on clinical and theoretical advances in individual MI, he has also developed group applications of MI and is an author of the official Guilford series book on that topic, co-written with long-time colleague Karen Ingersoll. He has worked with individuals with a variety of health, mental health, addiction and employment challenges across outpatient, inpatient, residential and corrections settings. Dr. Wagner’s trainings are highly engaging and focused on helping participants incorporate MI skills and strategies into their current styles of practice.

Speaker Disclosures:

Speaker Disclosures: Financial: Christopher Wagner is an associate professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Christopher Wagner has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 6.0 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

Case Managers
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This course has been awarded 6.25 clock hours by the Commission for Case Manager Certification. Full attendance is required.

This intermediate activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 380 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
This intermediate activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please contact your licensing board to determine if they accept programs or providers approved by other national or state licensing boards. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to participants who are in full attendance and who complete the program evaluation.

Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants
PESI, Inc. is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. Provider #: 3322. Full attendance at this course qualifies for 6.0 contact hours or .6 CEUs in the Category of Domain of OT and Occupational Therapy Process. Partial credit will be issued for partial attendance. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Course Level: Intermediate.

Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2017 - January 27, 2020. Social Workers completing this course receive 6.25 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 380 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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