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Courses A-Z Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Motivational Interviewing Introduction Course


 Description/Learning objectives


Course description

Based on the book, Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change (Third edition, 2013), this simulation-based and interactive online course is designed for health care practitioners who have direct client care responsibilities.  This course offers 44 hours of training on how to use core motivational interviewing skills in conversations about change across a range of health-related issues.


Course objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Define and critique the clinical method of motivational interviewing, indicating its purpose, how it is used and how it works
  • Use the spirit of motivational interviewing as a model for communicating care to clients
  • Establish therapeutic relationships with clients that are characterized by partnership, acceptance, compassion and evocation
  • Use OARS skills (open questions, affirmations, reflective statements, and summaries) to identify and explore issues to be addressed in a patient encounter, including the patient's context and preferences
  • Provide information and advice in a style consistent with motivational interviewing

Course structure


This course offers simulation-based training with deliberate practice strategies.  Participants have an unique opportunity to be paired with a motivational interviewing coach and practice motivational interviewing skills with simulated clients.  Authentic, real-life tasks from the participant's practice setting form the basis of the learning experience.


This course has a two-phase structure

  • Phase 1 involves three interactive, self-directed learning modules on the foundation skills of motivational interviewing.  It lasts three weeks.
  • Phase 2 involves  components that integrate practice-based performance improvement initiatives with focused clinical practice.
    • Four synthesis and application modules (which are live, one-hour workshops/seminars) cover key practice issues in applying and adapting motivational interviewing to specific practice settings.
    • Simulation and interactive learning modules pair each participant with a motivational interviewing coach and a simulated client, with whom the participant meets "in treatment" over a two-week period.  Individualized coaching and feedback on practice is provided in real-time.
    • A virtual community of practice (CoP) is integrated throughout the course, and provides post-course learning support.

 Target audience

​This course is appropriate for health care providers with direct client care responsibilities, who provide conversation/consultation about behavioral changes across a range of helath-related issues.



 Delivery method


Participants can choose between online or blended learning formats.

Online learning (web-based)

  • This combines online, self-directed learning with live, web-based interactive simulations, seminars and workshops.

Blended learning

  • This combines online, self-directed learning with a one-day workshop and live web-based interactive simulations.






​This course is led by CAMH staff with diverse disciplines in health care, and who are members of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).
MINT is an international collective of trainers in motivational interviewing.


Participants must have knowledge of the transtheoretical model of behavior change, also know as the "stages of change," and must have completed courses in clinical communication skills and counseling skills. 


  • This course is a stand-alone course
  • It also qualifies as an elective for the Concurrent Disorders Certificate Program and The Opioid Dependence Treatment Certificate Program


  • The College of Family Physicians of Canada - 43.0 Mainpro-MI credits
  • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - 36.5 Section 1 credits
  • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada - 6.5 Section 3 credits
  • The Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF) 44 core credits
  • The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) - 44 credits


​This course is held under the auspices of the Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development in the Faculty of Medicine, University Toronto.

 Course resources

  • ​Purchase of the textbook is optional:
    • Miller, W.R. & Rollnick, S. (2013). Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change (3rd Ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Computer headset with microphone.
  • Any of the following:
    • Internet Explorer version 9 or above (this browser works in Windows version 7, Vista or Server 2008).
    • Mozilla Firefox verison 10 or above (use this browser if you have Windows XP).
    • Safari 5.1.
    • Chrome



We no longer accept cheques as payment.

Refunds for advance (prior to start date) cancellation will be subject to an administrative fee of $50.00.

Withdrawals from a course are accepted within the first week of the course and is subject to an administrative fee of $300.00

The course will be cancelled if the minimum number of registrants is not met.  You will be notified at least one week prior to the start of the course if the course is cancelled.


Cancellation/withdrawal notice must be communicated in writing by email.


Sandra Bennett
416-535-8501 x 36732

CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
CAMH General Information Toronto: 416-595-6111 Toll Free: 1-800-463-6273
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Queen St.
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Toronto, ON
M6J 1H4
Russell St.
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Toronto, ON
M5S 2S1
College St.
250 College St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1R8
Eight offices across Ontario