MediRecruit logo

Introduction to Motivational Interviewing for Occupational Therapy Practice

Interviewing sitting at desk writing on notebook

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a ‘collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change’ (Miller 2013). MI provides workers with strategies and skills to support their clients to make meaningful changes. It also offers ways to deal with common issues in practice such as client ambivalence, relapsing conditions, lack of importance, confidence and readiness to change, and discord between client and therapist.

MI has a strong evidence base with over 200 randomized controlled trials demonstrating its effectiveness in a wide range of areas including mental health, substance use disorders, physical health addressing exercise, diet, pain management, diabetes, oral health, and within education, employment and correctional services.

This practical Occupational Therapy Australia workshop introduces participants to the core elements of MI – theory and practice – and provides opportunities to practice skills which can then be applied across a range of service delivery settings.


Suitable for Occupational Therapists at any career stage as well as OT Students.


At the end of the training participants will:

  • Understand Motivational Interviewing
    • What it is for
    • When and why to use it
    • How it works
  • Understand the four processes in Motivational Interviewing and develop related skills in:
    • Engaging
    • Focusing
    • Evoking
    • Planning
  • Understand key concepts and develop relevant skills related to:
    • Accurate empathy
    • Spirit of MI
    • Stages of change model
    • Managing ambivalence
    • Offering advice
    • OARS / EARS
    • Change Talk
    • Sustain Talk
    • Responding to discord 
    • Importance, confidence and readiness to change
  • Be able to bring an MI approach to practice, alongside current approaches
  • Understand how occupational approaches align with MI and offer apportunities for adaption
  • Have a range of tools and strategies to use for Motivational Interviewing


Michelle Taylor MA (Research) | BOccThy, has over 25 years experience working as an Occupational Therapist in the areas of mental health and substance use disorders. She has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom as a clinician, clinical educator and consultant. Michelle  is currently a clinical educator with Insight Centre for Alcohol and Other Drug Training and Workforce Development where she delivers training and supervision in motivational interviewing (MI) and develops resources informed by MI.


Friday 16 February 2024 Online
Friday 15 March 2024 Online (KIP session)


9.30am – 5.30pm AEDT  | ACT, VIC, TAS, NSW |  
9:00am – 5:00pm | SA |
8.30am- 4:30pm | QLD |
8:00am – 4:00pm | NT |
6:30am – 2:30pm | WA |
Your presenter will login 15 mins early to allow you time to login and test your technology.

For more information head to

Share this article

More Articles
a jobseeker filling out a checklist on a clipboard

Top 5 Tips for Graduate Health Professionals When Writing a Resume 

Are you a graduate health professional ready to kickstart your career? Here are our top 5 tips when writing a resume.
Two employees sitting at a desk looking at a laptop screen

6 Metrics to Track in Your Allied Health Practice 

Monitoring practice performance requires a structured approach through tracking essential metrics. Here are six Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to focus on!