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 arguement 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.

Compare     Dr A – Intervention Approach                Dr B – MI Approach

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 appraoch, 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 workshop schedule here

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 5000 people in all kinds of settings and all kinds of trainings, from short one-hour introductions to 2-day intensives all over the State. Sky has done trainings for WVU, Marshall U, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine, the United Way, DHHR, and the WV Council of Churches, to name a few. LPC, RN, SW, and Addictions Continuing Education certificates are often available.

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.

 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


KPCC 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.

Who leads the trainings?

MI trainings are led by Sky Kershner. Sky is a Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, called MINT. MINT is the only official body of MI.

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

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.
For details, see: http://www.cadenceonline.com/resources-2/craft_effectiveness/