Motivational Interviewing Certificate

Program Overview

This program will teach you how to overcome resistance by replacing it with lasting motivation and behaviour change.

“I found this program 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 You and Your Clients Will Benefit:

  • 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!

At the end of the program, you will earn a certificate of completion.

Optional: You also have the opportunity to earn a digital credential: in Motivational Interviewing - Fundamental Skills credential. This program is also part of the learning pathway for the Patient Navigator Professional Certificate.There is a non-refundable administration fee of $20+HST to apply for a digital credential (this fee includes up to 2 opportunities to pass a post-program online assessment, required to earn the digital credential). You will receive your digital credential(s) via email upon program completion and after passing a post-program online assessment.

What You Will Learn:

This  program 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 Take This Program:

  • 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

Program Content

The program will cover topics such as: 


  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
  2. 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
  3. Evaluation

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

Portrait of Instructor Michael Coons in a Circle Frame

Dr. Coons is a Clinical, Health, and Rehabilitation Psychologist. He is a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. He specializes in the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions for 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 extends across the lifespan including children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. He also provides support to individuals, couples or involved support people, and families.

Dr. Coons is the Program Director of the Health Coaching Institute in the Faculty of Health, York University. In this role, he provides oversite to the development and implementation of continuing education programs related to Motivational Interviewing and Health Coaching. Along with Dr. Carolina Pansera, Dr. Coons co-directs a community based private practice called the Health Collaborative.

Dr. Coons received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Waterloo. He completed his predoctoral clinical internship in Medical Psychology at Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, NC, and was formerly on faculty in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Leigh Caplan - RN, MA, CDE

Diabetes Nurse Educator, Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team

Portrait of Instructor Leigh Caplan in a Circle FrameLeigh 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.

Certificate/Digital Credential

Certificates are issued on completion of all mandatory requirements ( please make sure to review all of them) approximately two weeks after the program.

Please note in order to receive a certificate of completion you must have attended the program dates and/or achieve the learning objectives of your program as determined by the instructor. For more information please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.

Optional: You also have the opportunity to earn a digital credential: in Motivational Interviewing - Fundamental Skills. This program is also part of the learning pathway for the Patient Navigator Professional Certificate.To earn a digital credential you’ll need to pass a short post-program on-line test and pay $20+HST administrative fee. You will receive your digital credential(s) via email upon program completion, with instructions on how to collect and display them.


This Continuing Education program is approved by NBHWC for  15-hours continuing education units (CEP#100131) .





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