Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing 4 Day Course

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We believe good treatment starts with good engagement. Therefore the best evidence in engagement strategies comes from the evidence-based practice of Motivational Interviewing.



“Motivational interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.”

-- Miller & Rollnick (2012, 3rd edition), p. 29


We offer MI in Two Phases:


Facilitated by Suzanne D. Alfandari, M.S, LMFT

Suzanne Alfandari

Suzanne Alfandari is a member of MINT, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. She has trained organizations in MI including all categories of staff, that work with low income and challenged families, to providers who support first responders with PTSD. Suzanne created curriculum and taught MI to the psychology interns at MHSUS for three years, in addition to implementing the MI style of consultation with staff on the Youth and Family Services team. Suzanne completed her undergraduate studies at the State University of New York, Oneonta and completed her Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology at Dominican University, San Rafael, CA.

Since 1997, in her private practice, Suzanne has been providing multi-generational therapy with adults, individually and together with their parents, to improve their relationships. She supports clients into greater creativity and life satisfaction.


Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered, guided method of communicating. It is a valuable skill to have in the provider’s toolkit because it encourages clients to move through the ambivalence they feel in order to make the changes they choose. The workshop is designed to help providers use the four fundamental processes of Motivational Interviewing (engage, focus, evoke, plan) when working with clients.

This evidenced-based method supports providers to:

  • shift away from the need to fix others, a sure road to burnout.
  • embrace the premise that the wisdom is within each person to change in the ways that best serve them. practice a deeply respectful way of communicating with clients.
  • take the burden to change off the provider, back onto the client, where it rightfully belongs.

When clients are able to own their choices, they are invested in change and are more likely to follow through with a plan of care. MI is a profoundly remarkable tool that appears deceptively simple to learn, yet like any musical instrument or other hobby, it requires practice and support to develop the skill. This course will provide the space for providers to develop this skill.

Phase I. 4 days of classroom training, participants are placed based on their pre-assessmnent results (4 hours per day - 16 hours total)

Phase II. Addition of Coaching Circles to help apply MI methods to case load (6 sessions 2 hours each over 12 weeks)

    a. Providers are required to submit audio-taped sessions, use of MITI coding instrument with proficiency targets, and structured feedback


MI Coaching Circles

Coaching circles are offered for all providers. The aim is to anchor classroom learning in real day to day case load experience.

The emphasis in the circle is on upon effectively selecting and applying motivational interviewing methods to your clients. We offer coaching for 6 sessions, 2 hours every other week.

In this level of coaching the provider is expected to identify a number of current clients and actively apply techniques to their care. Specifically, providers are expected to submit no less than three, audio -taped samples of their work with clients and to listen and perform a detailed review of their own work. The work will be coded by the circle leader to the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Coding Manual (MITI), Participants will be provided with structured feedback verbally and in writing to help them reach advanced proficiency levels. It takes most circle members 3-5 submissions to reach advanced proficiency.

See what we’ve learned:

The Role of Supervisors is key in transfer of learning of any evidence-based practice, and Felton Institute aims to include supervisors in efficient ways, and their participation in the learning cycle of Motivational Interviewing and every other Felton sponsored EBP is criticial.