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ComMIt Training for Health Care Professionals is online!

Eight hours of accredited Continuing Education (CE,CME) in MI (for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dieticians and social workers) is available online at


This self paced course provides the practical MI tools and skills needed to impact patient lives and health outcomes in the course of every day patient interaction. The course presents and applies the sense making approach to MI covered in our recent book and in our 8 hour workshop. A more detailed explanation of our innovative approach to MI has been published in the journal Innovations in Pharmacy, available at:


To experience a fully interactive demo of Module 1 in its entirety, follow this link:

                     Module 1: Introduction and Background

Please ensure that your browser has Flash, javascript and pop-ups enabled for the host website.

To view noninteractive demonstration videos from other modules, follow these links:                        

                       The two underlying dimensions of MI

                              The unique synergy of MI

These videos demonstrate how we present detailed examples of HCP-patient interaction so that you move beyond theoretical acquaintance with MI concepts to a deeper experience with and beginning mastery of the distinctive flow of MI. 

This e-learning program will provide 8 hours of accredited CE/CME for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dieticians and social workers for only $195. Significant discounts are available for advanced group purchases. For specific rates, see: 


The e-learning program is divided into six modules:

   Module                                           Title                                                     Approximate
         1      Introduction and Background     60 mins.
         2      The Human Brain and Threat     60 mins.
         3      Sense Making and Practical Reasoning     40 mins.
         4      Developing Rapport and the Synergy of MI     90 mins.
         5      Clarifying the Patient's Issues   110 mins.
         6      Addressing the Patient's Issues     90 mins.
      Summative Evaluation     30 mins.
                                                                                   TOTAL    480 mins

This e-learning program was developed in Captivate with bookmarking so that you can leave any module and return later to pick back up where you left off. No plug-ins are required for Captivate.  Your browser must have Flash, javascript, and pop-ups enabled for the host CE site. This program was developed with the support of the NACDS Foundation.


Thank you for visiting our Internet site.  We have been training health care professionals (HCPs) in motivational interviewing (MI) for over 20 years.  ComMIt is an intensive training program to teach motivational interviewing to health care providers in a way that makes sense to them.

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a patient-centered approach for assessing and assisting patients in the process of health behavior change.  We have focused our efforts on MI in health care in order to help health care professionals (HCPs) become more patient-centered.  We envision MI to be the primary approach at the heart of the patient-centered medical home. 

We see MI as a collaborative, person-centered form of information exchange to facilitate constructive sense-making by patients about their health.   This definition is important for three reasons:  
    1)  motivational interviewing is person centered – the needs, cares and concerns of the patient are of paramount importance;  
    2)  MI involves an exchange of information – we have to understand what the patient knows and understands about their illness and its treatment BEFORE we can   provide our expertise; and
    3)  MI involves responding to two simultaneous sense-making processes occurring within patients -  namely how they make sense of what is happening to them with regard to their health AND how they make sense of what is happening in their relationship with their HCPs.

Too often, traditional health care provider communication focuses on telling patients what to do, imposing an agenda, and then scolding or blaming patients when they don’t do what they are told.  MI is about 
    1) being a caring resource for patients to assist them in making an accurate assessment of what is happening to them and in understanding the possible 
consequences of leaving their illness untreated, and then
    2) honoring their right to decide what is best for themselves. 

This does not mean that we don’t express concerns regarding risky and unhealthy behaviors.  It simply means we recognize that ultimately these are the patients’ decisions and that the best way for us to have any positive impact is to assist patients in making better sense of what they are facing and what options they have.  In the end though, patients make their own decisions. 

Three major differences need to be noted in this regard: 
    1)  Introspection is a major aspect of counselor training – counselors become aware of their own feelings (such as anxiety or anger) and how these feelings can be problematic in working with a patient if they are not managed appropriately. In contrast, HCPs are seldom asked to examine how their emotional reactions and communication habits can negatively affect the patient’s decision making. 
    2)  Whereas psychological counselors see patients in 50 minute blocks of time over the span of weeks and months, HCPs often have just a single 5-15 minute block of time to spend with patients.
    3)  HCPs are often taught that they are the expert.  Consequently, HCPs avoid exploring how patients view their health and instead prefer to tell patients what to do and then to blame patients when these “orders” are not followed.

These three major differences make training HCPs in motivational interviewing both challenging and exciting - especially when HCPs let go of their need to be the only expert in the room.

We have spent over twenty years teaching and studying motivational interviewing in health care.  We have studied hundreds of hours of audio/videotapes of HCPs (or students) talking to patients (or standardized patients).  Even after traditional MI training, we found that HCPs had a difficult time
     1)  hearing the patient’s concerns/issues,
     2)  reflecting back and empathizing with those issues, and
     3)  knowing how to address the patient’s issues in a way the patient perceives as caring and responsive. 
We discovered that when the relationship with the patient was damaged and/or the discussion of the patient’s issues bogged down, the probability of the patient making significant health behavior changes plummeted.  It became clear to us that the acronym based approach of traditional MI did not work well with HCPs because it did not help HCPs to respond to both the relational resistance and issue resistance that are so frequently intertwined in the talk of patients.

This realization led us to our new conceptualization of MI that stresses the powerful synergy achieved when the HCP establishes rapport with the patient in order to address the patient’s issues and concerns.  We use basic communicative and psychological concepts to explain how MI addresses the sense making processes of
the patient.  

If all the acronyms of traditional MI (such as READS, OARS, FRAMES and DARN) have left you somewhat confused or unclear about how to effectively use MI, then you may be delighted to encounter the tremendous synergy of MI when it is fully implemented by engaging all of the patient’s sense making.   In fact, many of our workshop participants have exclaimed "MI makes so much more sense now!"

We invite you to encounter our approach to MI for HCPs by exploring this website with its associated links, by taking our online e-learning course (see above), by attending one of our MI workshops, and by reading our MI book, Motivational Interviewing for Health Care Professionals:  A Sensible Approach (2013).   We are passionate about MI in healthcare and we hope to kindle (or rekindle) that passion in you.