University at Buffalo

UB MI Center Catalog

Some of the services provided through the Center include:

  • brief presentations
  • training workshops
  • small-group coaching sessions
  • objective coding and evaluation of learners’ recorded clinical practice
  • individual feedback and coaching based on objective coding of audio- or video-recorded interactions with actual or simulated clients/patients or of real-play or role-play interactions with peers
  • support for learning communities
  • training and support for educators and supervisors
  • organizational implementation guidance and assistance
  • development, training, monitoring, and supervision of research interventions

Services offered through the Center are described below.  Training packages are developed collaboratively with service clients to address their goals, preferences, and resources, with an emphasis on long-term support of learners and organizations.  Training can be delivered in-person or remotely. 

Evidence shows that fidelity of MI practice is directly related to its impact on client/patient outcomes.  Thus, our training packages incorporate opportunities for learners to receive observation-based feedback and coaching.

MI Basics Workshops (1 to 6 hours)

Presentations on the basics of MI familiarize learners with the fundamental definitions, concepts, and methods of MI, starting with MI Spirit (partnership, acceptance, compassion, empowerment). Workshops include didactic material and interactive exercises to give participants a feel for what MI involves.

This level of training offers an opportunity to explore MI and determine interest in learning more but is unlikely to add to participants’ practical skills.  

Examples of activities in a basics of MI presentation:

  • PowerPoint for key concepts
  • Interactive small group exercises
  • MI demonstration
  • Group discussion

Introductory MI Training Workshops (12 to 18 hours) Introductory MI trainings give learners a deeper understanding of the spirit, processes, and skills of MI and offer opportunities to try out MI skills. Participants practice empathic listening and effective sharing of information and gain an understanding of the directional aspects of MI: listening for and evoking “change talk” while also responding appropriately to “sustain talk” and discord.

Typically, workshop sessions are scheduled in 3-hour blocks over several weeks. Introductory training provides participants with a foundation for future learning. MI proficiency is rarely attained without participation in additional group and/or individual coaching.

Examples of activities in an introductory MI training:

  • PowerPoint for key concepts
  • Interactive small group exercises
  • Larger group exercises
  • Real-plays and Role-plays
  • Group discussion
  • Learning from MI demonstrations

Group Coaching Sessions (6-24 hours)

These 1- to 2-hour sessions give small groups of participants guided opportunities to practice skills learned in the workshops. Activities include real-play, role-play, and other exercises, giving and receiving feedback, and coding of video demonstrations. A key focus is on integrating MI skills and strategies into existing practice.

Groups can also develop into ongoing, facilitated Communities of Practice that meet periodically to support long-term learning and sustained integration into clinical practice.

Individual Coaching Sessions (3-12 hours)

These 30- to 60-minute sessions give learners an opportunity to receive individualized feedback and coaching based on coded recordings of actual practice or of real-play, role-play, or simulated client/patient interactions.  Practice samples are coded for fidelity.  Then, coach and learner together review the recorded session to highlight and reinforce the learner’s strengths and develop a plan for continued improvement.

Simulated client/patient interactions can make use of our collection of developed clinical scenarios. Custom scenarios can be designed as needed.

Research consistently shows that several sessions of feedback and coaching, ideally based on observed practice, enables learners to incorporate MI skills and strategies into sustained, proficient practice.  

Educator/Supervisor Training (6-24 hours)

These activities are designed for individuals who train and/or supervise other clinicians who are learning and applying MI skills in their practice. The goal is to prepare in-house coaches who can guide and support the MI practice of clinicians in a training program or service system. Training includes instruction in the use of tools and systems for evaluating session recordings to guide clinical practice. Prior proficiency in and experience with the practice of MI are helpful assets at this level.

Examples of activities in MI educator/supervisor training:

  • Learning a flexible range of skills and methods for helping others learn MI
  • Learning and practicing an array of MI training methods
  • Enhancing confidence in training and demonstrating MI
  • Assessing specific needs and evaluating the progress of trainees
  • Designing and adapting training approaches according to trainee needs
  • Updating knowledge of MI and training (recent research/developments)
  • Creating ongoing communities of practice that meet regularly to support progress
  • Learning and practicing MI-based supervision skills

Organizational Implementation of MI (1-3 years)

Motivational Interviewing is essentially a way of being with people, communicating empathy, respect, compassion, and acceptance in every interaction. Adopting MI as a core approach throughout an organization can yield a culture change that improves outcomes for those we seek to help and improves staff wellness and satisfaction with their work. The UB MI Center can work with your organization to develop a tailored plan and protocol for sustainable, ongoing MI training, implementation, and evaluation.

Examples of activities:

  • Planning for integration of the MI approach into existing or new clinical services
  • Developing an implementation team of administrators and staff members
  • Guiding implementation and cultural transformation
  • Training, monitoring, and coaching to support skill development
  • Supporting in-house development of MI champions, supervisors, and coaches
  • Supporting evaluation of implementation impact on staff and clients