Using MI to Support Behavior Change
The resources below can supplement formal Motivational Interviewing (MI) training and are not intended to replace the instruction, practice, and coaching/feedback necessary to become proficient in MI.
This program offers MI as one of seven conversation topics from the Network of the National Library of Medicine. While the training program is geared towards those in a clinical setting, it’s intended to support training efforts around health literacy and related concepts and can be relevant in a WIC setting. The program is structured to allow trainers and training managers to embed brief trainings on conversation topics into regular meetings or training sessions, with each module under a topic designed to take about 10-15 minutes to deliver.
Each conversation topic contains a facilitator planning guide, pre- and post-assessments, PowerPoint slides with speaker notes, printable quizzes (and answer key), and sample follow up email messages to continue engagement beyond each session. The MI conversation topic includes 8 modules:
Also available in the MI conversation topic are additional education and training resources on the concepts covered in the Motivational Interviewing module.
Other conversation topics include health literacy, social determinants of health, cultural humility, LGBTQ+ affirming care, shared decision making, and evidence-based practice.
Motivational Interviewing is a person-centered approach to assessment and counseling. Designed to explore and enhance the internal motivation a person needs to make a positive change, it helps resolve ambivalence, identifies the importance of change, and increases confidence to make a change. MI can be used as a foundation to discover what factors may motivate behavior change and is one way that WIC staff can help participants reach their health and wellness goals. Check out the Value Enhanced Nutrition Assessment (VENA) Updated Guidance for more information about behavior change theories and other counseling methods that can help WIC staff apply the VENA approach.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is often the basis of participant-centered education and services, and MI and its concepts are woven throughout VENA-related resources, including VENA Guidance, webinars, and WIC Learning Online Courses and associated job aids, such as:
- Motivational Interviewing – reviews the four fundamental processes of motivational interviewing
- Appreciative Inquiry and Motivational Interviewing – reviews two participant-centered approaches to assist in identifying a participant's strengths and motivations for change
Additionally, staff can hone communication skills by completing the Communicating with Participants course and reviewing its accompanying job aids.
University of Montana MI Collection
This collection contains articles, books, and a series of webinars and videos that differentiate MI's various aspects, reviews the difference between motivation and change, provides strategies for overcoming barriers, and shares MI tools.
The collection also includes four videos with patient-provider scenarios depicting effective and ineffective MI sessions.
The University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has two MI educational handouts that may be useful when discussing behavior change with WIC participants. They are located on the Find Research and Resources page, then search for "motivational" to access:
- Motivational Interviewing For Promoting Healthy Behaviors – scripted questions to assess ambivalence, motivation to change, confidence, barriers, and more, MI exercises to do with participants, including a sample readiness assessment and decisional balance worksheet
- Motivational Interviewing: Example Scripts – patient-provider scenarios (involving pre-contemplation, contemplation, and preparation stages of change) and how to have appropriate conversations to address participants' experiences