554 Motivational Interviewing: Fundamentals

Registration Open

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) in colaboration with the Brown University Distance Learning Program, is offering a credited, on-line course on motivational interviewing: fundamentals.

A highly successful treatment approach developed by Drs. William Miller and Steven Rollnick, Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a person centered, guiding method of communication to elicit and strengthen motivation for change. This introductory course will provide the individual with an understanding of what MI is and what it is not, a true appreciation for the spirit of MI, an empathic understanding of how people change and provide instruction and practice on the fundamental skills of MI. The discussion material and information will be given via a class WWW page, and bulletin board, with more in depth on-line information found through links to other sites.


Laura A. Saunders, MSSW has 20 years experience with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Her research, teaching, and publications reflect her longstanding interest in designing and promoting evidence based practices for helping persons with alcohol and drug use disorders.

Training and coaching others in basic interviewing techniques, administering assessment instruments, and interventions to promote behavior change has been the focus of Ms. Saunders’ career. She has worked intensively with physicians, nurses, medical students, psychologists, specialty addiction treatment providers, social workers, physical therapists, and health educators.

A member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), Ms Saunders has practiced and taught Motivational interviewing for over 15 years. She has designed, facilitated, and delivered training and coaching in person, online, and via distance learning in the fields of health care, public heath, human service and criminal justice. Ms Saunders has provided trainings in Motivational interviewing internationally, as well as extensively throughout the United States.

Ms. Saunders has expertise in training and monitoring the clinical practice of a statewide network of health educators who deliver services for the Wisconsin SBIRT project, Wisconsin Initiative to Promote Healthy Lifestyles (WIPHL). She also has a wealth of experience in best practices and quality assurance and improvement strategies for implementation and service delivery of SBIRT services.

Ms. Saunders holds a BA in Psychology and a MSSW in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Course Objectives

  • To explore the latest evidence based support for MI and it’s current application to positive change
  • To provide an appreciation of how and why people change
  • Discuss and reflect on what motivational interviewing is and what it isn’t
  • Observe and begin to practice fundamental MI spirit and skills

Course Requirements

This is a four-week course, beginning on June 27, 2011. Requirements are:

  • Required on-line reading (one hour per week)
  • Completion of pre and post test
  • Completion of weekly homework assignments (one hour per week)
  • Participation in the weekly course forum
  • Completion of an on-line course evaluation

*Please note that there are no real time events associated with this course. Lessons will be posted on the class home page on Tuesday and responses are due the following Monday. With the exception of the first weeks lesson which will be posted Monday with the responses due the following Monday. Assignments can be accessed at the participant’s convenience.

A full refund is available up until July 05, 2011 after which there will be no refunds.


$60.00 Certification

  • This four-week course, which begins on June 27, 2011, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 8 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151).
  • This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for 8 Category 1 continuing education for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC’s). The CCB is an IC&RC affiliate.
  • The New York State OASAS does accept distance learning CEUs provided by institutions of higher learning for individuals pursuing or renewing a CASAC, CPP or CPS.

$80.00 Certification

  • This program is approved by the National Association of Social Workers (provider # 886514487) for 8 continuing education contact hours.

*Combined certificates are available upon request.

Certificates will be mailed within two weeks to participants in the program for its duration who submit all required materials.

Please contact your local certification board to verify reciprocity or acceptance of Brown Distance Learning contact hours.

To participate, you must have:

  • An E-mail address and the capacity to retrieve and send E-mail;
  • Access to World Wide Web (the following programs provide WWW access: Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Explorer)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher is the preferred browser for Brown DLP online courses
  • The ability to navigate the World Wide Web
  • A basic understanding of how to use a computer and send and receive email


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 27, 2011 or when the course limit is reached.

To register for this course please log into your account or create your account then log into your account and click the Enroll in a New Course link at the bottom of your account page. On the Enrollment page select ‘554 Motivational Interviewing’ using the pull down menu and click on the enroll button. Having enrolled into the course you will be prompted for payment. You may make your payment online or by regular mail. To view payment information please use the payment policies.

For a list of current Brown University Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site:


Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the Brown University Online Course Announcement Listserve 6-8 weeks prior to the start of each course. If you would like to be subscribed to this list, please contact the Brown DLP at [email protected] or (401) 863-6606.

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