Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

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Training Details

Event Dates and Timeframe
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 09:30 AM until 11:30 AM
Location and Delivery Method
Delivery Method
Online / Web Delivered
Contact Person
AKTC Support
Support Phone
(907) 264-6244
Support Email
Support Website
Cost Range
The cost of this training is covered through a partnership between the State of Alaska, Dept of Health and Social Services and the UAA Center for Human Development, Family Services Training Center.

Host And Instructor

Family Services Training Center (FSTC), UAA Center for Human Development
Tom McRoberts,

Training Overview Description

This training will introduce the key techniques of Motivational Interviewing, MI. Participants will integrate OARS (open ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summaries) in their work to motivate clients toward behavior change. The work of Brene Brown inspires the introduction of the training with brief exploration of the art and science of empathy. We will reflect on how to turn conventional casework upside down by challenging our “righting reflex” with motivational Interviewing skills. Participants will be challenged to ask open-ended questions, give affirmations and use reflective listening during difficult interactions with people. We will explore how MI can help participants avoid some common conversation traps. Using the Transtheoretical Model, we will discuss how to motivate a person through the stages of change.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss open-ended questions, affirmations and reflective listening.
  • Describe how to use a summary during an interaction with a person.
  • Recognize ambivalence and how to reflect back the discrepancy between a person’s thinking and his/her behaviors.
  • Describe how a person, when changing a behavior, moves through the stages of change.

Tom McRoberts, MSW
Tom recently transitioned to his new role as Director of the Family Services Training Center from his former role of Behavioral Health Training Coordinator at the Alaska Training Cooperative, where he’s worked for the last two years. For nine years he worked as a trainer, consultant and coach for child welfare professionals at the UAA Child Welfare Academy in addition to eight years as a social worker and supervisor with the Office of Children's Services in Alaska. A life-long Alaskan, Tom has worked across the state in both urban and rural settings. His focus is on behavioral health interventions with vulnerable populations in Alaska, and he is especially interested in helping families and communities heal from the impact of trauma. Tom teaches social work courses at the University of Alaska, where he received his Master of Social Work degree in 2005. He has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of behavioral health and child welfare.

Event-specific Details

CHD e-Learning Portal - Training Materials, Zoom Connection, and Training Evaluation. All participants are encouraged to access the CHD e-Learning Portal,, in order to review training materials and access the Zoom link prior to the training. The e-Learning Portal is only available after completing your registration. After the training, use the e-Learning Portal to complete the training evaluation - required for Continuing Education Credits. Log in with the same username (username or email address) and password used to register for the training. Please allow 15 minutes for the system to update a password change before accessing the e-Learning Portal.

Questions about this training? Please contact Tom McRoberts,

Need assistance with registration? Please contact AKTC Support, 907-264-6244, Monday- Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM or email

Registration Information

Questions about this training? Please contact Tom McRoberts,

Need assistance with registration? Please contact AKTC Support, 907-264-6244, Monday- Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM or email

Register for this training Register someone else