Motivational Interviewing Conference

Inspire your clients’ or patients’ confidence, commitment and motivation to change. Join the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) of Wisconsin for a dynamic and fulfilling day of sharing Motivational Interviewing (MI).

Key Program Information
Categories Continuing Education | Human Services | Professional and Workforce Development | Health Care
Program Type Non-Credit
Delivery Format Face-to-Face

Who Should Attend

Counselors, psychologists, physicians, nurses, specialty addiction treatment providers, social workers, physical therapists, health educators, health care workers who work with patients to try and change behavior.

Counseling a student

Program Description

Save the date: May 6 & 7, 2019

Inspire your clients’ or patients’ confidence, commitment and motivation to change.

Join the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) of Wisconsin for a dynamic and fulfilling day of sharing Motivational Interviewing (MI).  MI is best defined as a way of being with a client, not just a set of counseling techniques.  The MINT presenters are a diverse group of passionate instructors and practitioners who bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge in using MI.

All sessions and an interactive lunch on specialty topics will be led by experienced members of the MI network of trainers.  And new this year, we are fortunate to have Denise Ernst, a significant contributor to the science and practice of MI, who will open and close the conference discussing the latest in Motivational Interviewing.

The conference offers two options: structured, full-day tracks or a build your own track with select sessions. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert, this conference is for you if you want to:

  • Learn the key concepts of MI.
  • Expand your knowledge of MI’s principles and how to apply them.
  • Gain advanced skills in MI practice and implementation.
  • Network and share experiences with other professionals using MI in practice.
  • Implement MI throughout your agency, client services or employee training/coaching.

Time for you to reflect, share and plan for implementation will be incorporated throughout the day.

Check back in early 2019 for an updated schedule. Below is last year's schedule. 

Structured, full-day track options

Introduction to MI

Full-day series led by Cherise Nielsen, Kim Schoen, Jenny Rodefeld

This full-day workshop is right if you have limited or no experience in Motivational Interviewing as it’s designed to provide enough information to determine if it would be useful in your work. In each of the sessions, you will be introduced to the core essence and learn key concepts (OARS, The Four Processes, Change Talk), gain some exposure to and practice MI strategies. You will leave this session knowing if this concept is something you want to continue learning about.

Please select “Introduction to MI” in all three time slots when registering.

Coaching MI

Full-day series led by Scott Caldwell, Laura Saunders, Melody Cole

Coaching involves helping others learn MI following initial training. This full-day track introduces a coaching model for managers, clinical supervisors, peer mentors, and others who are interested in facilitating MI learning and implementation. It is recommended that participants have some background in MI and attend each session of the track for continuity. Also, participants will be asked to complete a brief reading in preparation for the conference track.  

Please select all three sessions below when registering for “Coaching MI”.

Coaching Overview —10:15-11:30 a.m.
“Coaching MI”

We will explore the purpose of coaching, qualities of effective coaches, and ways to help prepare people to learn MI. A vision for MI fidelity and implementation will be discussed.

Assessing Fidelity — 12:55-2:05 p.m.
“Coaching MI”

Like learning other complex skills, performance-based assessment of MI is an essential foundation of effective coaching. In this session, an overview of a well-established fidelity instrument (the MITI) will be provided and participants will have an opportunity to assess basic MI practice and formulate feedback.

Coaching for Skills — 2:15-3:20 p.m.
“Coaching MI”

Based on assessment of fidelity, this session culminates in a demonstration of providing feedback and facilitating a skill practice activity. Participants will have an opportunity to consider applications of the coaching model to their setting with possible next steps.

Build your own track 

Pick from the sessions below covering material in “The Spirit of MI” and “Special Topics”. Please make sure to select only one topic per time slot when registering.

Morning Sessions — 10:15-11:30 a.m.

MI to Address the Shame Barrier to Change
“The Spirit of MI”
Leslie Barfknecht, Brook Seume

Motivational Interviewing plays an instrumental role in getting clients to a point where they are ready to address shame  The concepts of shame, vulnerability, shame resilience, empathy, and compassion are explored through the lens of Dr. Brené Brown’s Daring Way Model. Motivational Interviewing techniques allow the practitioner to navigate the shame resilience process in an effective and supportive manner when the client is ready.

Dancing with Discord
“Special Topics in MI”
Rachel Galanis

“But you don’t understand what I’m going through.” Ever receive any statements that signal there is a fire in your working alliance?  In this session, participants will examine how MI defines discord and discuss how to keep difficult situations from getting worse. Explore how to recognize signs of discord and practice how to manage it with reflective and strategic responses.

Early Afternoon Sessions — 12:55-2:05 p.m.

Self-Awareness and the Spirit of MI
“The Spirit of MI”
Ernie Marshall, Ray Gingerich

A key component of Motivational Interviewing is the “spirit”. The ability to engage and stay connected to the client is dependent on a practitioner’s ability to maintain an accepting, compassionate, and non-judgmental stance. This session will discuss strategies to maintain the “Spirit of MI” through the practice of self-awareness.

Offering Information and Advice in the Spirit of MI
“Special Topics in MI”
Susan Cushman

In this session, participants will learn, observe and practice how to offer information and advice to clients using an MI-consistent framework called ‘elicit-provide-elicit’ (EPE). EPE helps to increase engagement with the client, save time by tailoring relevant information for the client, and move forward in partnership with the client toward change.

Mid-Afternoon Sessions — 2:15-3:20 p.m.

MI and Cultural Reverence
“The Spirit of MI”
Shawn Smith

Explore how to leverage your skill in MI as a culturally responsive style of communication. Learn how we, as individual service artists, can communicate in ways that heal, guide, and exhibit deep respect for the heritage and values of a served person.

Growing as a Reflective Listener
“Special Topics in MI”
Mia Croyle, Ted Izydor

Reflective listening is a central skill that appears deceptively easy, but it takes hard work and skill to do well.  A large component is learning to think reflectively so that when practicing reflective listening you have interest in what the person has to say and respect for the person's inner wisdom. In this hands-on session, we will work on further developing our reflective listening capacity through exploration of both the technique and art of this powerful process.  This workshop will assume a basic understanding of reflective listening and is appropriate for all skill levels.

Overview of day

Registration — 8:00-8:30 a.m.
Welcome — 8:30-8:45 a.m.
Keynote: Denise Ernst — 8:45-10:00 a.m.
Break — 10:00-10:15 a.m.
Morning Session — 10:15-11:30 a.m.
Lunch Panel — 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Early Afternoon Session — 12:55-2:05 p.m.
Break — 2:05-2:15 p.m.
Mid-Afternoon Session —2:15-3:20 p.m.
Break — 3:20-3:30 p.m.
Closing: Denise Ernst — 3:30-4:30 p.m. 


Leslie Barfknecht, LCSW, is a Certified Trainer for the International Center of Clinical Excellence (ICCE) and Co-Founder of Change Partnership, LLC., an agency that promotes the implementation and application of evidence-based interventions in service settings.

Vonda Benson is a MI Implementation and Fidelity Specialist for the WI-DOC. She has been instrumental in the implementation of MI in her department and manages the MI Project within all three DOC divisions.

Scott Caldwell is a licensed substance abuse counselor and prevention specialist with 25 years in the behavioral health field as a clinician, program coordinator, trainer, and consultant. At the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, he leads the MI Training and Implementation Project.

Melody Cole is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Certified Dietitian with a passion for respectful, collaborative, empathic conversations about behavior change. She currently trains nurses, physicians, social workers, dietitians and complex case managers in MI at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mia Croyle, M.A., is an experienced mental health counselor who specializes in behavior change. She is currently the program manager for the SBIRT Training Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Susan Cushman, MPH, CHES, is the Campus Alcohol and Other Drug Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She practices MI and trains others to use it as part of facilitating brief screening and interventions with college students.

Rachel Galanis, M.S., LPC, MINT is a Clinical Director working at the Southwest Key Program, a juvenile justice organization committed to keeping youth out of institutions and home with their families, in their communities. Rachel has provided MI trainings nationwide for probation officers, case managers, crisis stabilizers, clinicians and school staff.

Ray Gingerich has worked as a social worker in probation and parole for the last 48 years, primarily as a trainer of non-coercive treatment methods since 1980. He has been using Motivational Interviewing since 1992 and training MI since 1993.

Ted Izydor, MS, MBA, LPC, CSAC, ICS has been a licensed mental health, addiction counselor and independent clinical supervisor for over 20 years. He is the founder of Full Potential Coaching and Consulting in Madison, Wisconsin and specializes in working with people struggling with opioid addiction on medication-assisted treatment.

Ernie Marshall, LCSW, has focused his career on resistant populations such as criminal justice, substance abuse, sexual offenders and multiply diagnosed individuals. He currently supervises treatment delivery for high-risk sex offenders at Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center.

Cherise Nielsen recently retired after 25 years with the Department of Corrections where she trained MI and was part of the statewide MI Sustainability team. Her future plans include a consulting business training MI and facilitating domestic violence groups.

Jenny Rodefeld, MSW has over 20 years’ experience working in innovative long-term care/health care models to support people with disabilities and frail elders. She is currently Senior Manager of Learning and Organizational Development for Care Wisconsin.

Laura A. Saunders, MSSW is with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School Of Medicine and Public Health and President of her independent MI training consultant. For nearly two decades, she has provided MI training, coding, and coaching for professionals who work in the fields of medicine, social work, mental health, education and corrections.

Kim Schoen, APSW, has been an active MINT member since 2012 and has participated in advanced trainings with both founders of MI, Drs. Miller and Rollnick. Her areas of experience include SBIRT in medical settings centering on nutrition, exercise, medication adherence, smoking cessation, and alcohol and substance use.

Brook Seume, LMFT, holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Edgewood College. Brook is a Treatment Provider and began facilitating sex offender treatment at Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in January 2014. She strives to gain a holistic understanding of an individual and to create a collaborative, safe environment that allows for vulnerability.

Shawn Smith is the President and Co-Founder of the Alma Institute, a human services training organization dedicated to advancing the training and implementation of evidence-based, evidence-informed, and best practices to fidelity. He has over 20 years of direct service and management experience in human services.


Wisconsin Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers

This program is hosted in partnership with the Wisconsin Chapter of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers or MINT, a membership organization committed to promoting high‐quality Motivational Interviewing training and practice. Wisconsin MINT members serve on the conference planning committee and develop and present much of the conference content.

*Listing of partners does not represent endorsement by UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education/Extension.


*Listing of sponsors does not represent endorsement by UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education/Extension.