Motivational Interviewing & the Stages of Change

participant being interviewed

Motivational Interviewing is a person-centered strategy that providers can employ to support clients toward making positive changes in their lives. Through honest conversations that acknowledge how challenging it can be to embark on a journey of recovery, providers can help clients resolve ambivalence, stand up to insecurities, and implement necessary changes in their lives. Attendees will gain insight into the foundations and key principles of Motivational Interviewing and learn specific strategies to encourage change. This session will invite attendees to reflect on their direct service work and consider use of this effective, evidence-based method with their clients.


12:45-1:00 PM   | Virtual training room opens   
1:00-1:10 PM     | Welcome & introductions   
1:10-1:25 PM     | The secret ingredient of change and beliefs about motivation   
1:25-2:00 PM     | The spirit of Motivational Interviewing, ambivalence, change talk & sustain talk, and resistance   
2:00-2:10 PM     | Break   
2:10-2:30 PM     | The core skills and processes of Motivational Interviewing   
2:30-2:50 PM     | The Stages of Change   
2:50-3:05 PM     | Putting skills into practice   
3:05-3:15 PM     | Final thoughts, Q&A

Learning objectives

  1. Articulate the role of Motivational Interviewing in participant-centered care
  2. Define sustain talk and change talk as components of ambivalence
  3. Explain the OARS method of Motivational Interviewing

Target Audience: Social service providers and helping professionals with direct client contact.  
Social Work Practice Level: This course is appropriate for beginner and intermediate BSW/MSW learners.  
Course Delivery Format: Live webinar  
Interactivity: This course will offer real-time polling, group discussion prompts, and 10 minutes of Q&A time.  
Social Work Continuing Education Credit: 2 CE Credits*  
Fees: $25 general registration; additional $5 for registration with social work CE credit  

Registration includes access to the live event and recording, PDF of slides, and relevant training tip sheets/resources.

Session Facilitator:

Ryan Villagran, MSW, LSW (they/them), joined Housing First University in June 2021 as a Training Specialist. Ryan holds a Master of Social Work from Temple University with a concentration in Communities & Policy. Their clinical background includes delivering psychiatric rehabilitation services in the mental health recovery model at a Community Integrated Recovery Center. Ryan also developed and coordinated a training program in a university setting for social workers serving transitional-aged youth and later taught a Human Behavior in the Social Environment course for graduate social work students. Ryan believes in the power of our collective imagination to dream of a better future centered around those on the margins.

Khalil Martin, MSW, LSW (he/him), received his Master’s degree in clinical social work from The University of Pennsylvania in 2020 and joined the Pathways to Housing PA team in 2021 where he served in a clinical leadership role on an ACT team for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder before joining Housing First University as a Training Specialist in January 2023. Prior to this, Khalil served as a therapist at Thomas Jefferson University's Narcotic Addiction Rehabilitation Program serving community members pursuing recovery via various forms of MAT. Additionally, Khalil has worked as a Behavioral Health Therapist at runaway & homeless youth shelters throughout the tri-state area, as well as with Project HOME, where he assisted in the opening of the Gloria Casarez Residence– the first permanent supportive housing for LGBTQ+ young adults in Pennsylvania. Khalil is also a practicing therapist at a Philadelphia group practice specializing in gender and sexuality, and is currently teaching Social Work and Families at Eastern University.


ACE approval statement: Housing First University: a program of Pathways to Housing PA, provider #1759, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 01/12/2022 - 01/12/2025. Social workers completing this course receive 2 clinical continuing education credits.

*Housing First University, a program of Pathways to Housing PA, can provide continuing education credits to licensed social workers in 48 of the 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces. Due to current regulations, CE credits cannot be offered to social workers in the states of New Jersey or New York. If you are not a Licensed Social Worker, please check with your board of accreditation to ensure this training meets your licensing needs.


To request an accessibility accommodation, please email:

For questions or comments, please contact: 
Andrew Spiers, LSW 
Continuing Education Director 
Housing First University, a program of Pathways to Housing PA (215) 390-1500, ext. 1708