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Module 9: Principles of Motivational Interviewing: Useful for Primary Care Physicians
Motivational interviewing (MI) has emerged as one of the most critical evidence-based approaches when working with patients to promote behavior change. Originally developed in the context of treating substance use disorders, MI is a collaborative method of communication that pays particular attention to the language of change. MI helps to strengthen intrinsic motivation for change by exploring the patient’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance, partnership, evocation and compassion. This educational activity will introduce key MI principles, including the four processes, the spirit of MI, patient-centered communications skills, and importance of evoking change talk.
Target Audience
Physicians, nurses, and healthcare teams who are treating patients with substance use disorder (SUD).
Joji Suzuki, MD | Director, Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Member, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers

At the conclusion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Describe the spirit of motivational interviewing (MI) and its four processes 
  • Utilize patient-centered MI skills to help elicit and strengthen the internal motivation for change 
  • Summarize how to plan for change in a MI-consistent fashion

Core Competencies as a result of participating in this activity:   
Interpersonal Skills and Communication
Medical Knowledge
Patient Care
Method of participation in the activity

In order to receive maximum credit, learners must: 

1. Review the materials provided in this module.
2. Earn a minimum cumulative score of 80% on the post-test. 
3. Complete an evaluation to assess satisfaction and plans for individual and/or team practice change.
4. Follow instructions at the end of the course regarding how to retrieve a certificate.* 

*Credit will not be awarded unless all components of the program are completed.  Partial credit will not be awarded.

Availability: On-Demand
Expires on 01/26/2023
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
1.25 CME Credits
1.25 Other Professionals Credits
1.25 Nursing Credits
1.25 IPCE Credits
The content on this site is intended solely to inform and educate medical professionals. This site shall not be used for medical advice and is not a substitute for the advice or treatment of a qualified medical professional.

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant nos. 6H79TI081968 and 1H79TI083343 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

For Waiver Inquiries, email PCSS.


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