Description:  Most clinicians are aware of the magnitude of the therapeutic relationship, yet issues often impede that fragile working alliance. This workshop will provide an intensive exploration of the relational elements of Motivational Interviewing (MI) that serve as the foundation of the approach, and our work with clients. We will focus on embodying the spirit of MI, including compassion, acceptance, collaboration, and evocation. We will explore the elements of acceptance and the principles of MI as well. Come join Marty Weems to learn and practice ways to use the relationship itself to learn, support change, and honor client autonomy. This includes shifting our primary focus from outcomes to the interpersonal process itself as a therapeutic intervention. Bring in your relevant cases!

picture-71Marty Weems, LCSW, LCAS, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Marty joined the faculty at the School of Social Work in 2003, and teaches graduate studies in direct practice social work. Prior to her tenure at the School of Social Work, Marty worked as a treatment provider, with a focus on substance use disorders. In 2008 she founded e-daptivity Learning and Performance Solutions, an organizational development company that specializes in providing services to behavioral healthcare agencies


  • 8:30 – sign in and coffee
  • 9:00 – 10:00 – Influential Theories
  • 10:15 – 10:30 – break
  • 10:30 – 12:00 –  Elements of Motivational Interviewing
  • 12:00 – 1:00 – break for lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:30 – Using Relational elements and interpersonal process
  • 2:30 – 2:45 – break
  • 2:45 – 4:30 – conclusion

Learning Objectives

By the completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the four elements that comprise the spirit of MI
  • Identify the elements of acceptance in MI
  • Understand the processes in MI
  • Engage in more collaborative processes, grounded in point of view and experiences of client
  • Describe strategies that foster self-determination and reasons for lasting change
  • Use compassion to honor and accept choices and experience
  • Attend to the process dimension in psychotherapy



  • Miller, William R.; Rollnick, Stephen (2014). Motivational Interviewing, Third Edition: Helping People Change. New York: Guilford Publications.
  • Moyers, T. (2014). The relationship in motivational interviewing. Psychotherapy, 51(3), 358-363.
  • Carr, E. S., & Smith, Y. (2014). The poetics of therapeutic practice: Motivational interviewing and the powers of pause. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 38(1), 83-114.

SLIDES|| printable handouts: 3-per-page-with-notes  and 6-per-page


Clinical Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work

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