Motivational Interviewing

kpcc mi logo
Motivational Interviewing is the leading evidence-based approach for how to have an effective conversation with someone about their alcohol or substance use. MI is also very effective in helping people make changes in behavior around smoking,  diabetes management, healthy eating, exercise, sleep habits, safe sex, harm reduction, and other healthy behaviors.

Motivational Interviewing is the best researched and most effective approach for creating the conditions of change.



When would I use MI?
Anytime you feel like giving advice, but you have a funny feeling that it is not going to go over well. Have you ever been in that situation?

MI is perfect for when you are having a short conversation with someone about making an important change in their life. It does not take long to do MI, and the results can be significant.

Compare these two short videos:       Dr A               Dr B (up to min 2:30)

Interested?  It looks easy, doesn’t it! And the results can save a bunch of time later on down the road, not to mention save you the frustration of being Dr A!




How can I learn MI, I want to do what Dr B just did!
It’s not hard to learn, it just takes some time and willingness to unlearn the things that we say that do not help move people towards change, and to understand and practice what kinds of things actually help make change more likely.

And we can help!

But don’t I have to be some kind of doctor or counselor to do MI?
Well, not exactly. MI is a counseling technique, yes, and it is also a way of being in the world. Anyone who is having short conversations with other people about change will be more effective when using MI. The training is great for counselors, social workers, clergy, parents, sports coaches, nurses, recovery coaches, corrections officers, probation officers, day report officers, home health care workers, disaster recovery workers,  managers, humans. Basically: Anyone who is interested in helping support others make difficult changes in their lives.


Want to give it try? See our calendar below!


KPCC teaches people how to do MI!
KPCC has tons of experience teaching MI. We have been training people in WV in MI since 2012. We have trained over 1500 people in all kinds of settings and all kinds of trainings, from short one-hour introductions to 2-day intensives all over the State. We have done trainings for WVU, Marshall U, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Problem Gamblers Network, KISRA, the United Way, DHHR, and the WV Council of Churches, to name a few. LPC, RN, SW, and Addictions Continuing Education certificates are available.

KPCC MI Trainings are engaging and effective
Our trainings also are fun, and interactional. You will not be bored. There will be no ‘death by powerpoint.’ Our trainings consistently get high reviews from participants.

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When do we offer trainings? All the Time!
KPCC offers regular monthly workshops and trainings to help participants learn MI.
click here for the schedule

We also offer regular weekly and monthly MI Practice Groups.
click here for more info

Don’t want to miss a training?
Subscribe to our email list here

MI CertficiateKPCC offers a full Certificate Training Program
We offer four levels of certificate based on your level of experience: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and TrainerIn addition, we offer a certificate for those who want to lead a “Families Motivating Recovery” Support Group.
Click here for more information on the program and on how to register.

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Who leads the trainings?
Our MI trainings are led by KPCC Director, Sky Kershner.
Sky is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, called MINT. MINT is the only official body of MI. Our program administrator is Erin Stroup.

2017-03-16 15.34.32 erin sky

Sky and Erin with one of our many sponsors, 
June Mills from First Presby, Charleston. We are thankful for everyone who makes our work possible!

Here is where we geek-out on MI, we even have a graph!
Motivational Interviewing is a form of collaborative conversation to strengthen a person’s motivation and resolve their ambivalence about changing their behavior. It is designed to increase an individual’s motivation for, and movement toward, a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion. The skills are simple, yet fundamental. They are also easy to learn but sometimes prove to be challenging to practice.

MI originally emerged in the field of addictions treatment as an alternative to traditional confrontational, authoritarian methods. Since inception, it has proven effective in a wide variety of settings involved in assisting people to make positive behavior changes. MI can apply to many behaviors such as substance dependence, health coaching, mental disorders, problem gambling, parenting and more.

The Stages of Change
The Stages of Change

An example of MI’s effectiveness is shown in this 1999 study, showing the CRAFT model, which teaches MI to family members had a high success rate in engaging family members to get help, compared to Intervention and 12-Step approaches.

CRAFT Graph Intervention vs Craft
Study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,1999 Albuquerque NM, Bill Miller, et als.
For details, see:




Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center (KPCC) has been approved by NBCC as an  Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5857. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. KPCC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.