In April, NCACH’s Whole Person Care Collaborative (WPCC) members took part in a two-day workshop centered on the foundational concepts of Motivational Interviewing (MI). The course was offered through a partnership with the Centre for Collaboration Motivation and Innovation (CCMI), led by Connie Davis and Kathy Reims.

The workshops were held in Okanogan on April 2nd and 3rd and in Moses Lake on April 4th and 5th. Diverse participants attended from varying backgrounds including healthcare and behavioral health providers, community health workers, and quality improvement specialists.


(Photo – Participants practicing motivational interviewing techniques. NCACH. All rights reserved)

During the intensive two-day workshop Kathy and Connie shared foundations such as the spirit of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and practical techniques like Brief Action Planning (BAP). The spirit of motivational interviewing is founded in compassion, acceptance, partnership and evocation (CAPE). As we learned, approaching change from a place of equal footing leads to change that is self-motivated, self-directed and sustainable. Applying the motivational interviewing approach allows for a gradual progression toward improvement instead of a forced improvement.

Take for example, a primary care provider who wants their patient to quit smoking. The provider educates the patient, she explains the dangers of smoking (shortened life expectancy, diseases) and gives resources (smoking cessation and products). While the provider may have provided stellar education and support, whether or not the patient quits smoking still comes down to their personal choice. Check out this short video to see Motivational Interviewing in action.


(Photo – Participants practicing motivational interviewing techniques. NCACH. All rights reserved)

Motivational interviewing is different in that it is founded on the importance of the patient’s choice. The underlying component of a successful change is allowing the patient to choose if they will change and accept their choice. Respecting the patient’s choices is foundational in building the partnerships between the patient and provider that will guide change. Instead of asking the patient to quit smoking, the provider might pose a broader question: “what would you like to change related to your health?” With the patient’s change identified the provider would elicit resources and solutions from the patient through evoking questions (e.g. “what options are available to help you quit smoking?”). The provider is acting as a guide but the patient is really working through the change themselves.

Motivational interviewing applies in various settings and professions. Several of the participants have committed to preparation and attendance for the Train the Trainer four-day intensive training that will take place in Wenatchee June 10-13. After completion of training and requirements, participants will become a CCMI recognized trainer, able to conduct workshops in Brief Action Planning and Foundations of MI. Trainers will be available in our WPCC community to extend the principals and foundational MI training to others.


(Photo – Participants posing at the end of successful workshop. NCACH. All rights reserved)


A special thank you to Kathy Reims, Connie Davis, Okanogan Community Action Council, Grant Integrated Services, and everyone who joined us for the trainings.

More information regarding upcoming trainings will be shared as it becomes available.

To learn more about the upcoming Motivational Interviewing “Train-the-Trainer” workshop, please email Wendy Brzezny,