Training in Motivational Interviewing

Program Overview

The Training in Motivational Interviewing course will teach you how to get at  resistance by replacing it with lasting motivation and behaviour change.

“I found this course very useful since it provided me with tools  and techniques that I can use in one-on-one coaching. I found it very helpful  to learn about techniques to use with clients who are resistant to change. The  facilitator was excellent; dynamic, passionate and inspiring.” - Melina  Ladoceur, Cancer Coach, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation

How will this workshop help you and your clients?

  • Open the door to more effective ways to negotiate change, increase positive outcomes and reduce frustration for your patients/clients and yourself
  • “Unstick” clients/patients and build lasting motivation for self-improvement
  • Empower clients/patients to accomplish their goals – no matter how challenging they appear
  • Be more effective in reducing resistance and building motivation with your colleagues, family and especially yourself!

Learning Outcomes

This  workshop is an intensive introduction to Motivational Interviewing with movement to an advanced level of competency in understanding how to implement  and sustain Health Behaviour Change for your clients, your programs, and overall practice.

  • Achieve  Competency in Motivational Interviewing principles and Self-Determination Theory
  • Master  Skills – demonstrations and role-play with feedback to master techniques and  support the use of the tools when you return to your practice

This workshop will get to the core of resistance and motivation for sustainable  Behaviour Change

Who Should Attend

  • Healthcare, Public health, and Allied health professionals
  • working with clients for behaviour change
  • Health promotion practitioners
  • Program leads and program staff
  • Non-Profits using behaviour change methods for the people they serve

Microcredentials and Professional Certificates


You will receive a certificate of completion and microcredential* at the end of the course acknowledging your full participation in a short non-credit course that provides new skills or knowledge. This certificate does not include any academic credits and cannot be applied towards a degree program.

*Microcredential: Recognition of professional skill(s) or competency(ies) experience earned via completion of a short 2-14 day course, and represented by an encrypted digital badge issued by York University.

Digital Badges are a visual and portable representation of the micro credential, including details of earning criteria such as defined competencies, course activities and experiences, which can be displayed on your online pages such as your linkedin or facebook profile, or a digital C.V. you can create on the Acclaim platform.

Professional Certificates

Professional Certificates consist of a series of short courses that build specific skills related to an area of professional expertise. Professional certificates awarded by the Health Leadership and Learning Network do not include any academic credits and cannot be applied towards a degree program.

You will be awarded a digital professional certification badge upon successful completion of required courses, which will designate your professional certificate and articulate your learned skills and areas of expertise. Microcredentials earned in each individual courses are stackable towards a digital professional certification badge.

Stackable options with this course:

Receive a Professional Certification in Patient Navigation when you complete this course and the following:

Receive a Professional Certification in Health Coaching and Navigation when you complete this course and the following:

Program Content

Program  Content

Day 1

  1. Understanding the Basics
    • When giving advice fails: what next?
    • Understanding motivation and resistance
    • Motivational Interviewing
      • The ‘Spirit’ of MI
      • Four Guiding Principles (RULE)
  • Decision Balance: Pros and Cons of change
  • Three Powerful Tools
    • Agenda Setting menu
    • Readiness, Importance and Confidence for change
  • Four Microskills (OARS)
  • Reflections so far
  1. Putting MI Into Practice
    • Integrative Role Play 1: Motivational Assessment
      • Demonstration
      • Role plays
      • Debrief
  • Integrative Role Play 2: Motivational Interventions
    • Demonstration
    • Role plays
    • Debrief
  1. Next Steps
  1. Tasks to complete before the next session
    1. Task 1: apply the Motivational Assessment and Intervention tools with a patient/client
    2. Task 2: reflect on this experience
  2. Evaluation

Day 2

Assignment Review:

  1. First Assignment: Motivational Assessment and Intervention with a patient/client
    • Feedback and Discussion
    • What went well; what stumbling blocks were encountered; what would you do differently next time; where do you need more help
    • Review; small group learning
    • Take-aways
  2. Second Assignment:
    • Feedback and discussion
    • Review; small group learning
    • Take-aways


  1. Skill Development
    • Fish Bowl: Small Group Learning
      • Role plays and debrief
      • mentored

Please note: program agenda is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor and HLLN



Dr. Michael J. Coons - PhD, CPsych, CBSM

Program Director, Assistant Professor-University of Toronto, Adjunct Professor-York University

Dr. Coons is a clinical psychologist who specializes in health psychology. He completed his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Waterloo, and his pre-doctoral clinical internship in medical psychology at Duke University Medical Centre. He was formerly on faculty in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Adjunct Professor in Psychology at York University.

Dr. Coons has also been appointed to the Obesity Scientific Committee of the American Heart Association (2012-2014; 2014-2016). Dr. Coons’ expertise is in the implementation of cognitive and behavioural interventions for the treatment of health-related problems. These include: obesity and weight management, psychosocial adjustment to chronic diseases (e.g., Type 1 and 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pain), adherence to health behaviours for chronic disease prevention and management (e.g., diet, exercise, medications), and insomnia and related behavioural sleep issues (e.g., adherence to sleep apnea treatment). Dr. Coons’ expertise also includes the assessment and treatment of mood anxiety problems that often co-occur with acute and chronic illnesses).

Leigh Caplan - RN, MA, CDE

Diabetes Nurse Educator, Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team

Leigh Caplan is a Diabetes Nurse Educator in the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team.   She has worked in the area of Diabetes Education for over 19 years. She has been the clinical lead on the expansion of the diabetes program at Sunnybrook and responsible for inter-professional diabetes education. Leigh is a faculity member of the Institute of Healthcare Communication: Choices and Change workshop, Choices and changes Mentoring Workshops with simulated patients and Coaching Clinicians for Enhanced Performance. Leigh is a tutor in University of Toronto Medical School’s Community, Population and Public Health ( CPPH) -1 course. Leigh has been a tutor and facilitator of Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences’ Diabetes Educator Graduate Certificate course.

Leigh received the U of T Family and Community Medicine Interprofesional Teaching Award 2011 and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre University of Toronto Diabetes Educator of the Year 2012. Leigh has been an active member: On three projects by the Centre for Effective Practice, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. The Central Toronto LHIN Self Management Group Toronto Central LHIN: Diabetes Steering Committee. Government of Ontario Diabetes Strategy Self Management Working Group. Leigh is presently an active member: TC LHIN RCC New Hires Planning Committee Sunnybrook Academic FHT Education Committee  Banting & Best Diabetes Centre - Continuing Health Education & Professional Development Committee Meeting TC LHIN Self management Advisory Committee  Health Quality Ontario – Ontario Diabetes Evidence committee Expert Panel.



Accommodation Information


Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus

• The Executive Learning Centre features:
• 60 executive style guest rooms on 12 floors each with a queen size bed
• Complimentary high speed internet access
• In room coffee/tea maker
• Wheelchair accessible

Call Reservations (416)-650-8300 book on-line: or




Allied Health professionals taking this Workshop may be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1500 from the Allied Health Professional Development Fund offered through HealthForce Ontario. Please visit the HealthForce Ontario website for more details