Learning “about” MI is easy. Learning how to “do” MI, on the other hand, takes a planned and methodical approach – right from the start.

If your learning group is new to MI, or has previously only had orientation and “overview” types of MI training, then we’d like to talk to you about why our 21-hour Foundations in Motivational Interviewing” workshop is a great place to kick-start the learning and to get started with the practice. All of our more advanced levels of MI training build from the concepts and skill sets that are presented in this foundation training course. It’s thorough, it’s fun, and it lays the groundwork for solid skill development in MI practice.



fdn_builderThe foundation of all MI work involves learning a new way of “hosting helpful conversations” – in a deliberate and strategic way. This “core training” workshop outlines a fundamental set of interviewing guidelines that tend to help clients begin building an internalized argument for a targeted change. This 3-day workshop is designed to ensure that all participants go beyond just the basic “how to” of MI work. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback on how participants in this program feel better prepared to work at strengthening change motivation after this course because of how it helps them to “get MI”.

Learners in our Foundations course take away a clear sense of “why” MI work matters in terms of the work they do with clients. They tell us how helpful it is that the course enables them to understand what MI is (and isn’t), and how it differs from “persuasion” interviewing – one of the toughest habits to break when developing MI savvy.



  • Understanding Change as a Process (as opposed to an “event”)
  • Differentiating between “persuasion conversations” and motivational interviews
  • Why working for change requires a different skill set than working for compliance
  • Diagnosing readiness, willingness, and ability-to-change through conversational clues
  • Creating a climate within which the MI “spirit” can create a space for motivational conversations
  • The Four Processes of motivational conversations
  • Five core MI skills (and how they are used in each of the 4 processes)
  • Learning activities that reinforce key concepts covered throughout the workshop
  • Evoking and strengthening “change talk” and softening “sustain talk”
  • Enhancing client commitment to change
  • Working with “resistance” and preventing tug-of-war dynamics in helping conversations
  • Ethical issues in the practice of activating motivation for (pre-specified) changes
  • How to learn MI – following a workshop!

Success in adult learning requires that participants have fun, feel welcome and safe to ask any questions that arise along the way, and that learners enjoy a good mix of learning modes – including opportunity for experimentation, trial – and yes – even error!


Planting the seeds of successful MI uptake, and then helping learners discover how to cultivate and “grow” their MI skills is the purpose of our Foundations workshop. More than 7000 people across Canada have taken this, our “core training” program – which is always customized to fit the work context of participants – and always delivered to rave reviews of those who participate!


We specialize in creating “lightbulb moments” for those who are new to the habits and skills of effective MI practitioners!

MI skill often involves learning from a series of “lightbulb moments” that help spark awareness of deeply ingrained conversational habits that get in the way of our desire to nurture motivation for change!


If you’d like information on how we customize every Foundations workshop to create a best-fit with the work-related needs and experience level of each new group, please give us a call, anytime. We’d also be glad to provide you with sample course outlines and to put you in touch with other agencies who have completed workshops with us who have offered to act as references to others who are new to our approach.



or Call 1-250-385-6468 anytime.

You can contact us directly by email:



“Motivational Interviewing
Training In Canada”

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Paul Burke Training Group (PBTG) workshops are offered ALL ACROSS CANADA including Yukon, North West Territories, and Nunavut