Establishing a Foundation for Motivational Interviewing Skills

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For registration assistance: 608-262-2451


This highly interactive introduction to Motivational Interviewing (MI) provides the 'what' and 'why' behind this highly sought, evidence-based skill for helping people change and grow. In this short course, you will also build a solid foundation for understanding the 'how' of MI, practice the fundamentals, and create a plan to continue your MI skills development. MI is learned over time, with ongoing instruction, practice and feedback. As such, this session is strongly recommended as a precursor to the Building MI Competency Certificate and/or MI Advancing Skills course also offered by UW–Madison Division of Continuing Studies. If you already have some MI knowledge and skills, consider participating in the Building MI Competency Certificate. If you have intermediate or advanced MI skills, check out our MI Advancing Skills course. Not sure which course is right for you? Check out our MI information page.


Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Differentiate between directing, following, and guiding approaches and describe why a guiding approach is most effective for those struggling with issues of personal change and growth.
  • Explain the spirit of MI and the roles of change talk and intentional active listening skills as key concepts in MI conversations.
  • Apply MI skills through practice and self-assessment.

Learner Level: Beginner

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Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 5
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units .5
American Psychological Association - Continuing Education Credit 5
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Substance Abuse Counselors - Continuing Education Credit Hours 5
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Marriage and Family Therapists - Continuing Education Credit Hours 5
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Social Workers - Continuing Education Credit Hours 5
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Licensed Professional Counselors 5

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (1)

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Program Questions?

Contact Katie Holt at katie.holt@wisc.edu

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

Meet your instructor

Sue EckMaahs

Suzanne (Sue) EckMaahs has been a highly active member of the international MINT Network (Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers) for 18 years, serving as a Trainer of new MINT Trainers, conference/pre-conference presenter, and active committee member. She has practiced and trained MI for over 30 years. With an educational background in sociology, she initially served individuals returning from incarceration while practicing direct service, restorative justice, evidence-based program management, & staff supervision.