Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

with W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D.

There has been considerable research to show that the relationship between the therapist and client accounts for the majority of the variance in therapy outcomes. Motivational interviewing (MI) has been found to be an effective approach to treating alcohol and substance abuse disorders and many other mental health and physical health problems. It is a clinical method or style that is effective in assisting clients to make difficult changes in their lives. It is considered a trans-theoretical model as it is compatible with various theoretical approaches. Learning motivational interviewing can improve client's motivation and therapists' ability to connect with their client and build a better therapeutic relationship. Motivational Interviewing is both client centered and directive. The goal is to discover and enhance a client's intrinsic motivation to change. This workshop will review the Stages of Change and introduce the spirit, principles and strategies of the Motivational Interviewing method.

At the end of this training, participants will be able to:
▻  Describe the fundamental concept of the “spirit” of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and how it is essential to effectively using MI.
▻  Apply the techniques of motivational interviewing, such as reflection, open ended questions, affirmations, and summaries.
▻  Explain why ambivalence is natural, and not “resistance”, and how the therapist can unintentionally elicit “resistance” when they are taking one side of the ambivalence.

W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. Dr. Sutton was introduced to Motivational Interviewing early in his career in the mental health field and it has been a guiding principal ever since. In his work with individual adults, couples, adolescents, and families, he continually uses the principals of motivational interviewing to build and maintain strong relationships with clients, and helping them use their strengths to motivate themselves for change, starting at wherever they may be in their their stage of change.    


  • Licensed Clinician (without CE)
  • $50 USD

  • Student / Prelicensed Clinician
  • $25 USD


Institute For The Advancement Of Psychotherapy