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Motivational Interviewing: Changing client relationships with alcohol

Alcohol Change UK

Motivational Interviewing: Changing client...
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Book a place 1 hour before event starts £200.00 £0.00 £40.00

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This two-day course will help empower practitioners engaged in the alcohol sector to develop knowledge, skills and confidence in using Motivational Interviewing to enable behaviour change in clients and groups.


What is Motivational Interviewing and what is its role in changing client relationships with alcohol?

At any one time the majority of people who are drinking problematically are not engaged in services, and of those who do engage, approximately 40% will quickly drop out. Research suggests that those who drop out are likely to be the more risky or vulnerable individuals. Motivational Interviewing is ideally placed here by placing the client at the centre of their treatment. If problematic alcohol users can engage in services where they are given control in their preferred treatment plan, then they are more likely to both engage in services and are more likely to continue in treatment.


Motivational Interviewing has its origins in the alcohol field in the 1980’s and is one of the best validated and widely used of all psychosocial interventions for alcohol use problems (Miller & Rose, 2009). Dr William Miller observed practice where people accessing treatment and support were often subject to authoritarian and confrontational approaches which resulted in people feeling let down by treatment.  Consequently, he developed MI alongside Stephen Rollnick. (Motivational Interviewing. Helping People Change, 3rd ed Miller and Rollnick 2013)


MI uses a conversational approach which works with people’s motivations to change behaviour. The MI practitioner on this 2-day course is trained to use a guiding style to empower the alcohol user to consider both their internal motivations for change as well as the impact of external factors (family, friends, society and media).  The alcohol user benefits from this approach through understanding their alcohol use and being placed in control of their decision making as the expert of their situation. There is a strong focus on the practitioner and alcohol user working in collaboration in moving towards change, whether that be abstinence or reduction in alcohol use to less harmful levels.


Who should sign up?

  • Drug and Alcohol Workers
  • Social Workers
  • Multi-agency Team Workers (Early Help)
  • Residential Social Care Workers
  • Hospital staff
  • Homeless hostel workers
  • Any other practitioners in the drugs and alcohol field, providing 1-1, group work and drop in sessions.


What will it cover?

You will benefit from a practical introduction to the theory and practice of MI which you will then be able to put into practice in your professions. The focus is on:

  • The spirit, processes and core skills of Motivational Interviewing
  • The research that underpins the value of Motivational Interviewing in the alcohol sector.
  • The motivators involved in alcohol use.
  • The relationship between Motivational Interviewing, Brief Interventions and the Transtheoretical Model of Change
  • Ambivalence and Discord and their impact on behaviour change
  • Motivational Interviewing in a groupwork context


What will I learn?

By the end of the training course, you will be able to:

  • Use your new knowledge, skills and confidence to enable clients to talk about and implement behaviour change.
  • Use a tool box of strategies and techniques based on Motivational Interviewing to help work with individuals and groups.
  • Help clients increase their confidence and self-esteem to change their relationship with alcohol.
  • Enable change for alcohol use and other potentially related behaviours such as smoking, drugs and physical activity.


About the trainer:

James is a qualified Social Worker and a member of the international body Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). He worked in the drugs and alcohol field for 10 years as a practitioner, initially with a focus on adult treatment, children in care, young offenders and latterly as an NHS manager with children and young people in treatment. Until 2016 he worked as a practicing Social Worker and Safeguarding trainer with a key focus on children, young people and their families.

James has also lectured at Derby University on substance misuse, motivational interviewing and work-based practice. James is now a Freelance trainer working for a range of organisations including Alcohol Change UK and the NSPCC. He also provides a portfolio of private training in Motivational Interviewing and safeguarding.



How much does the training cost?

Training costs £200 plus VAT.  This is the total cost for the two days.


How long is the course?

Each course is one full day. Training will start at 10am each day and end at approximately 4.30pm.


What are my transport or parking options for getting to and from the event?

Alcohol Change UK is located approximately 15 minutes’ walk from King's Cross St. Pancras Underground and Rail Station. There is no parking at our venue.


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Email us:

Call us: 02039078480


What's the refund policy?

All cancellations should be made in writing via email to If you give us more than 14 days’ notice, we will not charge you, and we will refund any fees you have already paid.


If you give us between 7 and 14 days’ notice, we will charge you half the course fee. If you give us less than 7 days’ notice, we will charge you the full fee.


Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes. Please email if you would like to transfer your registration to another person.

Do you have questions about Motivational Interviewing: Changing client relationships with alcohol? Contact Alcohol Change UK

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When & Where

Alcohol Change UK
27 Swinton Street
WC1X 9NW London
United Kingdom

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