Responsible Use of Motivational Interviewing in Schools

The purpose of the Responsible Use of Motivational Interviewing in Schools (RUMIS) project is to provide technical support for school-based practitioners, researchers, and higher education personnel. Below, we provide a brief description what Motivational Interviewing (MI) involves and how it is being used by school-based providers. Next, we describe the Motivational Interviewing Training and Assessment System (MITAS), which provides the foundation of our support technical support services. Finally, we have included some preliminary thinking related to a menu of cost-generating services we believe would be in fairly high demand if we had adequate marketing and infrastructure.

Motivational Interviewing in the School

Motivational interviewing is a clinical counseling approach based on empirical evidence documenting the relationship between how people talk about change and their actions. MI helps to facilitate the change process by developing a supportive environment and relationship that evokes change talk, or the person’s own words about their personal motivation to change. Research suggests proficient use of MI is associated with higher levels of engagement, longer time in treatment, and better outcomes than interventions without MI. MI is increasingly being leveraged by researchers and school-based mental health providers and consultants to improve child social and academic functioning. It is a foundational skill for several evidence-based practices and can also be used as a coaching model or to facilitated everyday conversations about change. While there are now a few groups who advertise services to train school professionals to use MI, the existing models are not high quality, or contextualized for school-based applications. 

How can MI be Applied in Schools?

Written Assessment of Simulated Encounters - School-based Applications

  • The Written Assessment of Simulated Encounters for School Based Applications (WASE-SBA) measures a person’s ability to generate reflective responses on paper, providing a kind of minimum assurance, but no guarantee that this person may actually use the same skill during conversations about change. Thus, the WASE–SBA may be best suited as a formative measure of reflective listening during the teaching and learning of MI and simulated coaching situations.

Video Assessment of Simulated Encounters - School-based Applications

  • The Video Assessment of Simulated Encounters- School-based Applications (VASE-SBA) was modified from Rosengren, Baer, Hartzler, Dunn, and Wells (2005) Video Assessment of Simulated Encounters-Revised to adapt the video prompts to simulate the communications from clients within a context specific helping relationship1.  Ideally, the VASE-SBA is used in conjunction with the Motivational Interviewing Training and Assessment System (MITAS), which has been contextualized for three diverse applications in educational situations: (1) school-based, (2) home visitation, and (3) higher education.

What does it take to learn/teach MI?





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How can MI processes and quality be measured/assessed?

            Description of Assessment System - <Link to content to come later>

            How do I get more information about MI assessment? - <Link to content to come later>

Authors and Contributors:

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Frey, A.J, Lee, J., & Small, J.W, Walker, H.M., & Seeley, J.R.,(2017). Motivational Interviewing Training and Assessment System for School-Based Applications.Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth, 17, 86-92.
Frey, A.J., Small, J.W., Lee, J., Walker, H.M., Seeley, J.R., Feil, E.G. & Golly, A.(2015). Expanding the range of the First Step to Success intervention: Tertiary-level support for teachers and families.Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 30, 1-11, doi: org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2014.05.002.
Small, J.W., Lee, J., Frey, A.J, Seeley, J.R, & Walker, H.M.(2014). The development of instruments to measure motivational interviewing skill acquisition for school-based personnel.Advances inSchool Mental Health Promotion, 7, 240-254. Doi: 10.1080/1754730X.2014.949063
Lee, J., Frey, A., Reinke, W.M., & Herman, K.C.,(2014). Motivational interviewing as a framework to guide school-based coaching.Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 7, 225-239. Doi: 10.1080/1754730X.2014.949515

Frey, A.J., Lee, J., Small, J.W., Seeley, J.R., Walker, H.M. & Feil, E.G.(2013). The Motivational Interviewing Navigation Guide: a process for enhancing teachers' motivation to adopt and implement school-based interventions,Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 6, 158-173. doi:10.1080/1754730X.2013.804334
Frey, A. J., Lee, J., Small, J.W., Seeley, J.R., Walker, H. M., & Feil, E. G.(2013). Transporting motivational interviewing to school settings to improve engagement and fidelity of Tier 2 interventions. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 29, 183-202. doi: 10.1080/15377903.2013.778774
Frey, A.J., Alverez, M.E., Sabatino, C.A.(2013). Consultation to improve treatment integrity.Children & Schools, 35, 3-8. doi: 10.1093/cs/cds037.
Frey, A.J., Sims, K. & Alverez, M.E.(2013). Motivational interviewing and school social work. Children & Schools, 35, 67-70. doi: 10.1093/cs/cdt004.
Frey, A.J., Cloud, R.N., Lee, J., Small, J.W. Seeley, J.R., Feil, E., … & Golly, A.(2011). The promise of motivational interviewing in school mental health. School Mental Health, 3, 1–12. doi 10.1007/s12310-010-9048-z      

Research & Projects

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