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Motivational Interviewing Groups: Moving Together Toward Change

Motivational Interviewing Groups:

Moving Together Toward Change

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an empathic, goal-oriented therapeutic approach that elicits change in health, mental health, and addictive behaviors.  Originally an alternative to addiction approaches that relied on an expert, authoritarian stance in counseling, MI has evolved into a mainstream, evidence-based, and highly-used method for eliciting change that helps people live better and healthier across a wide variety of settings, clinical problems, and populations.

MI was developed as an individual approach, focusing on dyadic interactions between the person and the counselor.  However, adapting MI for use with a group of people requires reconceptualizing its core practices to harness the power of group support, cohesion, and momentum.  Group leadership requires skills beyond those in dyadic counseling.  Managing “conversational traffic” and facilitating open sharing among people with different experiences, goals, styles, and beliefs are essential skills for group leaders.  Effective leaders must be well-prepared to address unexpected situations and maintain therapeutic bonds with individual group members while facilitating a conversation among the whole group.

This six-session experiential training provides information on adapting MI to groups across a variety of formats, and is highly experiential, leading participants through group practice exercises across the four phases of MI groups.  This series will incorporate evidence-based practices with the MI modality.  Participants will become part of a group, and some will have opportunities to lead the group.  Incorporating Motivational Interviewing group skills developed by the trainers, this series guides participants in successful group leadership, refocusing groups away from rehashing problems and toward inspiring positive change.

WHEN: Weekly sessions offered on the same day and start time between May 28 and July 9, 2024 PT. Day and time will depend on your location. Please locate your local time zone in the table below for your weekly start time.



At the end of this training experience, participants will be able to:

  • Describe at least two (2) ways to shift from providing individual counseling in a group setting to facilitating group interactions that promote growth and wellness.
  • Specify at least two (2) ways to model a warm, healthy, relaxed, and accepting way of being.
  • Identify at least three (3) strategies to foster a positive group climate while deepening cohesion between members.
  • Assess at least two (2) key elements of the expanded nature of change talk in MI groups.
  • Explain at least two (2) ways to broaden and deepen group conversations for optimal success.
  • Compare at least three (3) strategies to transform group conflict into moments of growth.
  • Specify at least three (3) guided group activities such as exploring values, drawing from past successes, harnessing personal strengths, and envisioning a better future.
  • Design a plan to utilize the three (3) MI strategies of Exploring and Broadening Perspectives, Building Momentum for Change, and Moving into Action.


  • Behavioral health, substance use disorder, and recovery service providers located in the Pacific Southwest ATTC region (HHS Region 9)
  • Preferably have experience in or access to facilitating groups


  • To be eligible and register for this series, applicants are required to first complete either (1) an Intro to MI live virtual or face-to-face training offered by the PSATTC or (2) the 4-hour, free self-paced, online course Tour of MI: An Interprofessional Road Map for Behavior Change and submit the electronic copy of your certificate of completion from either of these trainings during the registration process
  • Access to appropriate technology to utilize Zoom videoconferencing platform (internet connection, webcam, laptop/tablet, speakers and microphone)
    • Attend a one-hour online Orientation on May 28, 2024 (refer to chart above for scheduled dates/times in your time zone)
  • Commit to 6-weeks of online training: 5 hours sessions on scheduled series days/time and complete 1.0 hour of weekly self-study learning activities
  • Be prepared and actively engage while on camera 90% of the scheduled series time


  • Kate Speck, PhD, MAC, LADC
  • Paul Warren, LMSW
  • Amy Shanahan, MS, CADC


The first 35 registrants will receive a waiver that covers the $350 cost to participate. Once the 35 spots have been filled, registration will be closed. Due to limited enrollment, if you cannot commit to the full requirements, please defer this opportunity to others.

Please Note: Registrants enrolled in this series are expected to attend the first TWO sessionsIn addition, it is expected that participants will have access to the appropriate technology by Week 2 to fully participate and be on camera at least 90% of the time. This is not a webinar series and active participation to gain/improve skills are required.


This series has been approved for a total of 16 contact hours through the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) ACEP No. 6492.

APA Approved SponsorUCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. UCLA ISAP maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

UCLA ISAP is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs (Provider #64812). UCLA ISAP maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Course meets the qualifications for up to sixteen (16) hours of continuing education credits for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCS, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. UCLA ISAP is also an approved provider of continuing education for RADTs I/II, CADCs-CASs, CADCs I/II, CADCs-CSs, and LAADCs (CCAPP, #2N-00-445-1125), CATCs (ACCBC/CAADE, #CP40 872 C 0825), and CAODCs (CADTP, #151). Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #15455, for up to 16 contact hours. UNR CASAT is an approved provider of continuing education credit for NCACs I/II and MACs through the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC, #98165). This program is approved by the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD-AP24-004) for 16.0 education content hours (CPS, CSAC, CCJP, CCS, and CSAPA).

CE credit will be awarded at the conclusion of the series for full-session participation. Partial credit will not be available for those participants who arrive at any particular session late or leave early. Make-up work will not be provided or accepted.


Please contact the NFARtec Workwise Staff at [email protected] or by phone at 775-784-6265 or 866-617-2816 (toll-free).

Starts: May. 28, 2024 3:00 pm
Ends: Jul. 9, 2024 3:00 pm
Registration Deadline
May 27, 2024
Event Type
Online Course
Hosted by
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