Motivational Interviewing: A Method to Support Change

Project Description

Learning Alchemy developed this course for an organization that treats clients with substance use disorders, eating disorders, and mood and anxiety disorders. Many staff were working with clients in ways that inadvertently increase resistance and diminish client self-efficacy. An employee at the organization is a substance use expert and would give an annual conference presentation on Motivational Interviewing (MI) that narrowly focused on therapists working with substance use issues.

Learning Alchemy engaged with this subject matter expert to develop her presentation content into an 8-module online course, increasing access to staff throughout the organization. We worked collaboratively to expand the content for all staff in both clinical and non-clinical roles, and to apply the content to many client issues beyond substance use. The new content focused on concrete techniques for working with client ambivalence, not giving in to the righting response, and working to increase internal motivation for change. In the course, learners engage in realistic scenarios to assess a client’s readiness to change and to implement basic MI skills to support the client in the scenario. The course includes concrete next steps for integrating MI into practice for staff in all roles.

How it's used

To date, this course has been successfully completed by nearly 700 staff members in a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles.

Skills on display

  • Clinical Knowledge
  • Collaboration with Agency Experts
  • Instructional Design
  • eLearning Development
  • Graphic Design
  • Voiceover
  • Audio Production

Toolset utilized

  • Articulate Storyline
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Audition

Sample Elements


Use of animated text, images and narration eases cognitive load to support deeper learning

Realistic Contexts

Information is presented within realistic contexts to support on-the-job recall

Simple Models

Models are included to support learners to adapt and perform in their own work contexts

Realistic Examples

Specific examples provided are based on typical areas of challenge for staff

Typical Errors

Common issues and how they should be addressed are presented with visuals that support comprehension

Realistic Scenarios

Learners practice new skills within realistic scenarios that support decision making on the job

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