Motivational Interviewing: Using Compassionate Conversation to Move Clients Toward Health and Change



January 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2022, 1-4:15 p.m. ET
Instructor: Sara Schieffelin, LICSW
Live interactive webinar

Level: Intermediate
CEs: 12 CEs are available for a $15 fee
Review CE accreditation and approvals for this course.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidenced-based practice that came out of the addictions field and is applicable to a wide range of presenting problems. It is currently used in the health care, mental health and substance abuse/recovery fields and is gaining increasing recognition for its efficacy, broad application and humanistic approach. 

During Motivational Interviewing conversations, the practitioner engages the client in a guided dialogue meant to uncover and heighten ambivalence around a target behavior or issue, aid the client in resolving their ambivalence and ultimately identify a change plan that supports the client’s self-definition of health. MI employs a core set of skills, used within an overarching framework or "spirit," which includes respect, promotion of autonomy and personal choice, collaboration, acceptance, compassion/empathy and evocation. 

This highly interactive and participatory two-day seminar will offer the basics of Motivational Interviewing, with emphasis on exploring and understanding the spirit of MI and learning and practicing the core skills through “real” plays, demonstrations, exercises and case examples. Participants new to MI will leave with effective tools, and those already familiar will increase their confidence and repertoire. 

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method, Format and Instructor Interaction :

Live interactive webinar with discussion. Instructor will use group discussion, small group exercises, verbal and chat Q and A and case discussions, Login information will be emailed immediately after registration to the email address entered during registration. Attendees are visible to one another in Zoom Meeting and are encouraged to be active participants with their camera and/or microphone in order take part in discussion.

System Requirements:

Attendees will need access to a computer with working camera and microphone. All courses are offered using Zoom conferencing software. 

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Early registration by November 15, 2021: $260
Regular registration by January 3, 2022: $285

CEs: 12 CEs are available for a $15 fee 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define the theoretical framework of Motivational Interviewing.
  2. Identify approaches to improve empathy skills.
  3. Demonstrate the core skills of Motivational Interviewing
  4. State methods to identify and prompt client/patient change talk. 
  5. Describe how to respond effectively to resistance.
  6. Demonstrate the structure of a Motivational Interviewing conversation and how to move a client from sustain talk toward change talk using the core skills of MI.


Day 1:

  • 1 - 2:35 p.m. ET: Spirit of MI: Partnership, acceptance, compassion, evocation
  • 2:35 - 2:45 p.m. ET: Break
  • 2:45 - 4:15 p.m. ET: Process of MI: Engaging, focusing, evoking, planning

Day 2:

  • 1 - 2:35 p.m. ET: Active listening
  • 2:35 - 2:45 p.m. ET: Break
  • 2:45 - 4:15 p.m. ET: MI Skills: Open-ended questions, affirmation, reflections, summaries

Day 3:

  • 1 - 2:35 p.m. ET: Change talk
  • 2:35 - 2:45 p.m. ET: Break
  • 2:45 - 4:15 p.m. ET: Resisting the righting reflex

Day 4:

  • 1 - 2:35 p.m. ET: Digging deep
  • 2:35 - 2:45 p.m. ET: Break
  • 2:45 - 4:15 p.m. ET: Bringing it all together

About the Instructor:

Sara Schieffelin, M.S.W. ’08, LICSW, has worked with children, adolescents, families and adults in Massachusetts, Colorado and Thailand. She has worked in community mental health and school settings, and currently consults and has a private practice. Schieffelin is a member of the international organization Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and has been teaching MI since 2013. She lives with her husband and son in Florence, Massachusetts.

Completion Requirements for Live Interactive Webinars

Live, interactive webinars are synchronous, virtual courses held in Zoom Meeting. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the webinar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the training. Participant attendance is tracked through Zoom. To earn CE credit, participants must also complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements. Receiving CEs is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the webinar evaluation, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of webinar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records.

Continuing Education Credits and Approvals

Continuing Education (CE) credits offered vary by course. This course only offers the CE credits listed below.  It is the attendees' responsibility to contact their licensing board to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

Social Work
  • Smith College School for Social Work, #1755, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Smith College School for Social Work maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 11/19/2021-11/19/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 12 continuing education credits.
  • Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School’s Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
  • Smith College School for Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0169.
Counselors (LMHC/LPC)


  • Smith College School for Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7110. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Smith College School for Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


  • Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Due to changes in continuing education requirements for NY licensed psychologists, APA CE Sponsor credits may not be accepted for re-licensure at this time. Please check the NY Psychology Board regulations for CE requirements currently in effect.

SSW Professional Education Policies

Further information on policies and CE accreditation can be found here.

Contact SSW Professional Education


Lilly Hall
23 West Street,
Northampton, MA 01060 | 413-585-7970

Director of Professional Education

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P: 413-585-4198