Training and Coaching

Motivational Interviewing

The Center for Strength-based Strategies offers:

  • Motivational Interviewing training
  • Motivational Intervieiwng training for trainers
  • Motivational Interviewing coaching

Our Director, Michael D. Clark, MSW is a member of Motivational Interviewng Network of Trainers (MINT) which is the only trainer listing within the Motivational Interviewing model. (MINT status can only be attained through this professional organization and by completing a training-of-trainers session sanctioned by this organization).

Michael D. Clark, MSW is one of the few trainers who is a member of MINT that have served as a long-time probation officer, magistrate as well as a abuse/neglect case manager within a Circuit Court (Michigan). He specializes in the application of this approach with court-mandated clients.

Mr. Clark has trained staffing groups across a variety of professional fields. Michael has authored first-of-it's-kind articles demonstrating the use of Motivational Interviewing in a two-part series with the American Probation and Parole Association's Perspectives journal and similar two-part series with the United States Courts Federal Probation journal.

Center Update

Our Center became one of the leaders in the United States for the instruction of Motivational Interviewing trainers and coaches. Currently, there are over 200 Wyoming Protocol™ MI Trainers, located across18 states. In the MI field, available to anyone who wishes to train/coach Motivational Interviewing, there are at present, three assignments for trainers and coaches:
  1. "MINT" status, which can only be granted by the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT)
  2. "Wyoming Protocol™ – Motivational Interviewing Trainer" which can only be granted by following the MI trainer/coach protocol as published by the Michigan-based, Center for Strength-Based Strategies
  3. "Motivational Interviewing Trainer"

We have claimed trademark rights to this status ("Motivational Interviewing Trainer - Wyoming Protocol ™ ") and have applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) a division of the US Department of Commerce for a trademark registration of a standard character format to register this protocol with the USPTO. We now serve notice to the public of our claim of ownership of to this mark.

Click here to access the information sheet on this protocol.

Center Update

Our Center has recently added training Associates who are trainer members of the MINT orgranization that have extensive experience directly in criminal justice or direct practice with mandated clients. Our Center has now collected the largest faculty in the United States of MINT members who have served / or are currenly employed as probation officers, police officers or currently work in correctional facilites. Our faculty also includes MINT members who have worked with juvenile offenders, families/parents involved in the child welfare ffield families/parents (abuse & neglect issues) as well as mandated substance abuse clients. The CSBS specializes in providing MINT members (trainers) who have direct practice experience working with offenders / mandated clients.

Here is a partial listing of clients that the Center for Strength-Based Strategies is currently -- or has facilitated -- train-the-trainer initiatives in Motivational Interviewing:
  • Los Angeles County Probation (Juvenile Probation & Facilities)
  • Wyoming Department of Corrections
  • Hawaii District - Federal Probation and Pretrial Services
  • State of Nebraska – Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center – Kearney, NE
  • South Central Behavioral Health Services – Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services – Kearney, NE
  • Utah Department of Corrections
  • Montgomery County Juvenile Court – Dayton, Ohio
  • Montgomery County Adult Community Corrections – Dayton, Ohio
  • Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards
  • Brazoria County – Texas, Community Corrections Department
  • Bay-Arenac Community Mental Health, Bay City, Michigan
  • Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole

New In 2011

State Hawaii - Oahu Juvenile Court / Child Protective Services (Sponsored by the University of Hawaii - Manoa)

New In 2011

Shelby County Juvenile Court - Memphis, Tennessee Nashville County Juvenile Court - Nashville, Tennessee (Sponsored by University of Tennessee)

Publication Update

Our Center Director has co-authored a new 100 page monograph for the NIC:

Motivating Offenders to Change: A Guide for Probation and ParoleView/Download

This publication "provides probation and parole officers and other correctional professionals with both a solid grounding in the principles behind MI [motivational interviewing] and a practical guide for applying these principles in their everyday dealings with offenders" (p.2). Seven chapters are contained in this guide: how MI fits in with evidence-based practice; how and why people change; the motivational interviewing style; preparing for change; building motivation for change; navigating through tough times--working with deception, violations, and sanctions; and from start to finish--putting MI into practice. Accession Number: 022253


(June 2007) Walters, Scott T., Clark, Michael D., Gingerich, Ray & Meltzer, Melissa, "Motivating Offenders To Change: A Guide for Probation & Parole Officers" Practice Monograph, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) –

US Department of Justice. (NIC Accession number 022253)

You can download a copy from NIC at: or you can order printed copies by calling 1-800-877-1461.

Our Director has also co-authored a Federal Probation two-part article seriesthat includes:
  • (December, 2005) Clark, Michael D., "Motivational Interviewing for Probation Staff: Increasing the Readiness to Change." Federal Probation (United States Courts). Vol. 69 (2). 22-28. [Part One of Two Parts] Click here to dowload the full article.
  • (June, 2006) Clark, Michael. D., Walters, S. T., Gingerich, R., & Meltzer, M. "Motivational Interviewing for Probation Officers: Tipping the Balance Towards Change." Federal Probation. (United States Courts). Vol. 70 (1). 38-40. [Part Two of Two Parts] Click here to dowload the full article.

The American Probation and Parole Association two-part article series includes:
  • (Winter 2006) "Entering the Business of Behavior Change: Motivational Interviewing for Probation Staff" Perspectives. Journal of the American Probation & Parole Association. Vol. 30 (1). 38-45. [Part One of Two Parts] Click here to download the full article.
  • (June, 2006) Clark, Michael. D., Walters, S. T., Gingerich, R., & Meltzer, M. "Motivational Interviewing for Probation Officers: Tipping the Balance Towards Change." Federal Probation. (United States Courts). Vol. 70 (1). 38-40. [Part Two of Two Parts] Click here to download the full article.

Michael has also published the first article that speaks to probation executives for implementing Motivational Interviewing within their deparements:

(Spring, 2006) Clark, Michael D., "Motivational Interviewing and the Probation Executive: Entering Your Department into the Business of Behavior Change" Executive Exchange, Journal for the National Association of Probation Executives ISSN: 1075-2234. 17-22

Click here to download full article.

Mr. Clark has recently finished authoring an article on Motivational Interviewing for Child Welfare staff is one of the very few publications applying this appraoch to abuse and neglect work here in the United States:

(Submitted) Clark, Michael D., "Motivational Interviewing for Child Welfare: Motivation, Change Talk & Positive Outcomes"

Motivational Interviewing for Challenging Clients: A Direct Practice Series to Increase Outcomes

The CSBS offers two 2-day trainings in Motivational Interviewing and a third initiative that allows departments and agencies to continue to build model fidelity and direct practice skills. Descriptions of these three curriculums are provided in the following links:

Motivation and Human Behavior Change: Increasing the Change Conditions of Desire, Ability, Reason & Need

How one understands motivation with clients will directly effect what one does (or doesn't do) to increase it. Join this workshop for an in-depth look at the questions, "Why do people change?" "How do people change?" What is motivation and how can staff raise motivation with those they work with? This two-day institute is a skill-based training that focuses on skill-building ("how to's") for staff working with challenging populations. Seven (7) modules will be presented over the two days, utilizing multimedia presentations, interactive lecture and facilitated small and large group exercises. A mixture of small group discussions, actual videos of staff/client sessions, case scenarios and full room exercises keep the training pace lively and engaging. Stop the arguing—learn how to bypass resistance to start clients moving toward healthy outcomes.

Module highlights include:
  • Motivational Interviewing: The Science of Human Behavior Change
  • The Stages of Change Theory: Change is a Process not an Event
  • Five (5) Exercises to Increase the Connection to the Client
  • Overcoming Resistance: Strategies to Avoid Argumentation and Bypass Resistance
  • Research on Motivation: The Change Conditions of Desire, Ability, Reason & Need
  • Opening Exercises: Getting Started with step-by-step Procedures
  • Using this Approach in "Micro-Bursts": How to Motivate in brief interactions

Motivational Interviewing & Change Talk: Increasing Importance, Confidence and Readiness to Change

Join this advanced training to take the next steps: increasing change talk and moving to commitment. This session will take you beyond your new skills for increasing connections—offering focused training on building a client's level of importance for positive behavior change and ensure they have the necessary confidence to see the change(s) through. The greatest number of clients have both arguments within them, a side that wants to be rid of the problem (pro change), and a side that doesn't believe change is possible or beneficial (stay the same). Participants will learn how to successfully negotiate client ambivalence. Learn "key questions" that will turn the work from increasing the readiness for change to gaining the commitment to start actual "first steps." Examine actual video's of meetings between staff and clients that demonstrate the "do's and don't's" for bypassing resistance and increasing change talk—even in brief interactions.

Participants will be able to:
  • Learn about the role ambivalence plays in keeping clients "stuck" and how to increase the "pro-change" side of this "fence-sitting."
  • Learn to recognize "change talk" and how to respond to it (to summon more!).
  • Be able to demonstrate strategies that will raise importance to change and confidence to change
  • Explain the role of "key questions" in moving a client to begin "commitment talk"
  • Demonstrate the continuum of motivational Interviewing practice during skill-building exercises
  • Examine actual video footage staff/client sessions and offer critiques on motivational strategies

Agency Implementation & Fidelity to Approach: Technical Assistance and Quality Assurance Implementation

Professional training in motivational interviewing, as with many other topics, is often delivered skill-based workshops. However, recent studies (Clark, 2005, Miller & Mount, 2004, Rollnick, Mason & Butler, 1999) examined how to further practice implementation within organization and agency settings. From this research, implications for onsite implementation and quality control strategies have been developed to begin sustainability:

Your continuing "onsite" work includes three efforts:

  1. Half-day meeting (or prearranged conference call) with Directors / Managers, Supervisors, and Department Administrators to discuss issues of implementation oversight, process and procedures
  2. Practice-Tapes with Feedback:
    • Staff and client sign a "release of information to allow audio-taping for educational purposes." This release can easily be rescinded at any time by either party.
    • Explanations are given to the client at the time this release is to be signed describing that the taping is not for organizational review (or for any other court, agency or community entity) but is entered into only for educational and training purposes.
    • Department purchases a digital recorder ($75 avg.) that allows the recording to be transferred into a computer via a USB cable.
    • Sessions are recorded simply by placing the digital recorder between the staff person and the client. Once the session has been completed, the audio file is uploaded into a department's computer (Windows® Audio File format) and sent via email attachment to a coder. These coders will review the audio tape, summarizing the content and offering commentary.
    • Coder sends back an evaluation form (PDF file) via email attachment that lists a detailed summary of various behavior/response counts from session content. (i.e., reflective statements, resistance-lowering techniques, change talk, MI-adherent responses, etc.)
    • Inserted into the session recording are interspaced taped statements made by these MI-trainers/coders who offer feedback and suggestions to the staff person regarding session content. This feedback may be generalized (pro's and con's of the session) or specific to a juncture in the dialogue (For example: "You might have tried to use a "key question" here here instead of a amplified reflection.")
    • Agency executives are included in the coding arrangements to determine issues of progression, availability and handling of these audio tapes.
  3. Selection of quality assurance trainers and training of trainer's session

Agencies can elect to build in-house sustainability. With this option, staff who have completed the onsite taping sessions that demonstrate the necessary competency levels will be identified for a train-the-trainer session. This training session will ensure ongoing sustainability for changes in department practice.