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Motivational Interviewing for People with Serious Mental Illness (GROUP 2)


This 12-week learning collaborative provides an in-depth overview of Motivational Interviewing, a brief person-centered evidence-based practice for strengthening an individual’s motivation for and commitment to change. Motivational Interviewing is frequently associated with substance use, but can be applied to any behavior change such as increasing medication adherence, building independent living skills, reducing self-harm, and managing physical health issues. Motivational Interviewing is a helpful counseling strategy for people with serious mental illness and skills can be applied regardless of how brief or infrequent the encounters are. 

Clinicians will learn to the foundation of motivational interviewing, what the four processes are, and how to apply motivational interviewing skills to practice with patients. Clinicians will learn about ambivalence and how it impacts behavior change and then both learn and practice skills to navigate this ambivalence to build commitment towards change.  

This learning collaborative will focus on practicing motivational interviewing micro-skills including open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summarizations and provide opportunities to practice skills based on common scenarios for clinicians who work with people who have serious mental illness. Clinical issues, challenges, and recommendations for motivational interviewing to address common frustrations for clinicians will be reviewed.  

Participants will be able to demonstrate specific motivational interviewing skills in patient encounters at the end of the 12-week learning collaborative. 

Program Schedule  

The facilitated 12-week syllabus will be held from March 11 to June 9, 2024. No content will be released during the week of May 6, 2024. 

Please note you must complete all 12 modules during weeks 1-12 in order to claim credit for this course. 

Module Opens 


Module Title 

Office Hours (ET) 

Mar 4 


Welcome and Introduction  


Mar 11 


Introduction to Motivational Interviewing 

Wednesday March 13 @ 11am-12pm ET 

Mar 18 


The Spirit of Motivational Interviewing 


Mar 25 


Four Processes of Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change 

Wednesday March 27 @ 11am-12pm ET 

(Sherin cover) 

Apr 1 


Focusing using Values 


Apr 8 


Engaging through OARS (Open-Ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflections, Summarizations) 

Wednesday April 10 @ 11am-12pm ET 

Apr 15 


Evoking:  Recognizing Change Talk and Sustain Talk  


Apr 22 


Evoking:  Responding to Change Talk  

Wednesday April 24 @ 11am-12pm ET 

Apt 29 


Responding to Sustain Talk  


May 13 


Planning: Negotiating and Consolidating Commitment 

Wednesday May 15 @ 11am-12pm ET 

May 20 


Special Considerations for Serious Mental Illness  


May 27 


Common Pitfalls to Avoid 

Wednesday May 29 @ 11am-12pm ET 

Jun 3 


Clinician Self Care 


Jun 9 


Program Schedule/Syllabus Ends 



FREE - $0 

Learning Objectives  

  • Recognize the four processes of motivational interviewing.    
  • Assess how ambivalence impacts behavior change.  
  • Incorporate motivational interviewing micro-skills, including: open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summarizations to patient scenarios in order to enhance commitment towards change. 

Target Audience  

Clinicians that have direct contact with patients.  

Instructional Level  

Introductory or Intermediate 

Estimated Time to Complete 

Estimated Duration: 18.0 hours  

Program Begin Date: March 11, 2024 

Program End Date: June 9, 2024 

Credit Claim End Date: August 8, 2024 

Note: This course has a 12-week syllabus. Credit must be claimed within 60 days of the end of the last session.  

How to Earn Credit 

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, CE credit for social workers, or a certificate of participation may do so by completing the course modules, participating in live group meetings, and completing the evaluation. Participants claiming CE credit for social workers must have full attendance at each live meeting to claim credit for that meeting. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians), CE certificate (social workers) or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the event dates and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit 

In support of improving patient care, the American Psychiatric Association is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.  


The APA designates this blended activity for a maximum of 18.0AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Social Workers 

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) designates this activity for 18.0 continuing education credits. Social workers should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

Continuing education requirements vary from state to state. Many state boards grant reciprocity with national accrediting organizations and other state boards. It is the responsibility of each professional to understand the requirements for license renewal or check with the state or national licensing board and/or professional organization to become more familiar with their policies for acceptable continuing education credit. Social workers and Psychologists should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. 

Faculty and Planner Disclosures 

The American Psychiatric Association adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CME activity — including faculty, planners, reviewers or others — are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.  


  • Sterling Haukom Anderson, LPC, Thresholds. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.    


  • John Torous, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Torous has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.    
  • Teri Brister, PHD, LPC, National Alliance for Mental Illness. Dr. Brister has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.    
  • Sherin Khan, LCSW, Thresholds. Ms. Khan has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.    

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities 

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.  

Availability: On-Demand
Expires on Aug 08, 2024
Credit Offered:
18 CME Credits
18 SW CE Credits
18 COP Credits
Contains: 19 Courses
Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.
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