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Motivational Interviewing Cohort 7

The Portsmouth Academy, St Mary's Road, Fratton
Course Tutors
Nicola Kerr
Admin Contact
Target Audience
Social Workers - Children
target audience
Course Types
Course categories
Training for PCC Staff / Comensura / Training for PCC Managers
Children's Social Care / Safeguarding Children
Course description



‘You lot don’t care! You’re going to take our kids away and you get a bonus for that’
‘Why aren’t you going to the neighbours down the road, they’re much worse than us!’
‘What do you know? Do you have kids of your own?’

Are these kinds of ‘heart-sink’ phrases familiar? Do you or your staff frequently find themselves on the defensive as practitioners or as managers? In an environment of diminishing resources and increasing demand on services, we need a fresh and imaginative approach.
Motivational Interviewing is a framework of intervention, brought together in the 1990s by Professor William Miller and Professor Stephen Rollnick. It is an approach designed to work with those most resistant to change or stuck in entrenched behaviours. The premise of Motivational Interviewing is that motivation is not a ‘fixed state’ that a person does or does not have. Rather, motivation ebbs and flows depending on many factors such as circumstances, mood and so forth. The skilled practitioner (or manager) will harness whatever very little motivation there might be, and help it move in the right direction. The Motivational Interviewing approach borrows in from other sources such as Carl Rogers’ person-centred counselling; Socratic thinking and Prochaska & DiClemente’s Cycle of Behaviour change.
The key principles are:
• Engagement with the client, rather than doing something to them – i.e. change cannot be forced or pushed on to someone. It has to be internal for the client to be meaningful and long term.
• Rolling with resistance (NB this is not rolling over or being passive)
• Express empathy
• Avoid conflict
• Developing discrepancy in client’s thinking
• Support self-responsibility
Clients are often stuck or ambivalent about making changes for themselves. Practitioners can easily collude with this ‘stuckness’, or out of frustration try to push people to action, which only increases resistance. Motivational Interviewing helps to make the practitioner aware of these tendencies, and give them options to work more powerfully in ways that create more possibility of change for their clients.
Our MI training course gives a highly interactive and practical experience of Motivational Interviewing, and its potential power to engage with people meaningfully, rather than do something to them. There will be opportunities for demonstration, discussion, and questions, conducted in ways that model the principles of a motivational skills approach. We will explore together how we can all nurture even the smallest steps of progress, with the emphasis on encouragement and trying to bring out the best in others as well as ourselves.


Training objectives

Course Aim
To develop our confidence and skills in using Motivational Interviewing so we can model this strengths-based approach to support Family Safeguarding in Portsmouth.

Learning outcomes

• To gain a practical understanding of what Motivational Interviewing is, and how it relates to other strengths-based approaches
• To gain a practical understanding of the cycle of behaviour change, and how it can inspire families
• To be able to use a few key MI techniques in a safe learning environment
The course will be backed up by our free Motivational Skills App which is packed with MI resources – video demonstrations, reference materials and audio interviews with practitioners sharing their own MI success stories. This live learning tool is updated monthly with new material to help embed your learning and develop your practice personally and in your team.

Additional Information


Start Date
Wednesday 10 November 2021
End Date
Tuesday 1 March 2022
Closing Date
Tuesday 9 November 2021
09:30 - 16:30
Maximum Places
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