Motivational Interviewing is a way to have a particular kind of conversation with someone about their life, and exploring the possibility of making a making a change in a direction they feel would be positive.

MI is had its start in clinical circles as the leading evidence-based approach for how to have an effective conversation with someone about their alcohol or substance use.

It’s application has now has evolved to helping people consider making changes in behaviors around addictions and harm reduction, healthy eating, exercise, sleep habits, sex,  relationships and parenting, depression and anxiety, healing trauma, and many other behaviors, conditions, and situations that can stifle the human spirit.

Motivational Interviewing is (at this point in time) the best researched and most effective approach for supporting the conditions of change, and at the same time affirming a person’s autonomy to decide for themselves what is right for them.

When would I use MI?
Anytime you feel like giving advice, but you have a funny feeling that your brilliant idea (smiley face) is not going to go over so well. Have you ever been in that situation? Maybe you want ahead with that impulse anyway, and you got an argument or appeasement.

MI is a perfect option 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.

Here is our favorite video, showing the problem:   
It’s Not About the Nail
(with thanks to WV native Jason Headley
for this production)

And here are two short videos comparing the intervention approach with an MI approach in a clinical setting. 
Dr A – Intervention Approach 
Dr B – MI Approach

MI 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?
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.


Do I have to be some kind of clinical person to do MI?
Not at all! MI is a counseling approach, and
MI is also a way of being in the world.

Anyone who is having short conversations with other people, including loved ones, 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?
 Getting Started with WV-MI

Sky Kershner teaches people how to do MI!

Sky has tons of experience teaching MI. Sky has been training people in WV in MI since 2012. He has trained over 8000 people in all kinds of settings and all kinds of trainings, from short one-hour introductions to 2-day intensives all over the US and abroad.


Sky is a member of MINT, the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, which is the official body of MI,
and he is one of 85 MINT Certified Trainers in the world
(yes, the whole-wide world!)


Sky's MI Trainings are engaging and energizing
Sky's trainings also are fun, and interactional. You will not be bored. His trainings consistently get high reviews from participants. 

Here are some of our training partners


When do we offer trainings? All the Time!
WV-MI offers regular monthly workshops and trainings to help participants learn MI. We also offer regular weekly and monthly MI Practice Groups.

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


WV-MI offers a full Certificate Training Program
We offer three levels of certificate based on your level of experience: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced. In addition, we offer a certificate for those who want to lead a “Families Motivating Recovery” Support Group.

Click here for more information
on the WV-MI Certificate Program.

Here is where we geek-out on MI!
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.


Some Research
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.

Study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,1999 Albuquerque NM, Bill Miller, et als.