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Motivational Interviewing

A page within Motivational Interviewing

Professional Development Opportunities

Motivational Interviewing Training

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a collaborative, goal-oriented method of communication that focuses on the language of change. It is designed to help practitioners strengthen an individual’s motivation for and movement toward a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own arguments for change.

Transform your practice, empower your clients, and improve outcomes!


Establishing a Foundation for Motivational Interviewing Skills

Start your Motivational Interviewing journey and explore the 'what' and 'why' behind this highly sought, evidence-based skill for helping people change and grow.


Building Motivational Interviewing Competency Certificate

Earn a UW-Madison Motivational Interviewing (MI) competency-based certificate! Gain knowledge and skills to reach proficiency in the use of MI.


Motivational Interviewing: Advancing Skills Practice


Strengthen your existing Motivational Interviewing skillset! Improve your MI practice through peer and instructor feedback from simulated client interviews.


The evidence to support MI is immense. There are over 2,500 peer-reviewed publications, 250 clinical trials and several meta-analyses that cite the use of a motivational approach for a wide range of behavior changes. When compared to other evidence-based interventions, MI is at least equal, and there is no dose response requirement for MI training. Thus, any training in MI is likely to improve the skillfulness of the participants. Dozens of studies show the following themes:

  • Change effects are rapid and durable over time.
  • MI has been tested with diverse populations, with favorable outcomes.
  • When integrated with other evidence-based practice, MI can lead to synergistic and more favorable outcomes than a  stand-alone approach.
  • MI is as effective, on average, as more intensive and lengthy treatments.

Who uses MI?

Motivational Interviewing is used by a range of professionals, including but not limited to:

  • Psychologists, counselors, therapists and behavioral health specialists
  • Social workers, case managers and human services providers
  • Student affairs and youth services professionals
  • Educators
  • Correctional workers
  • Prevention specialists
  • Managers and supervisors
  • Physicians, nurses, other health care and allied health care providers
  • Health and allied health undergraduate and graduate students