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Motivational Interviewing

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 3/1/2018

Expiration Date: 12/31/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Physician: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5



Greater emphasis is needed on preventive health care and on helping patients to give up destructive substance use and to make other changes toward healthier lifestyles. We need to be more effective at motivating our patients toward healthy behavior. Motivational Interviewing (MI), first detailed in William R. Miller's 1983 landmark paper and then in Miller and Stephen Rollnick's books (1991, 2002, 2013), has been transformational in medical care. MI is of special importance because it can be viewed as the essential clinical skill for engaging patients in treatment and motivating patients to reduce substance use and to follow through with specific recommended behavioral or pharmacological treatments. MI involves learning new skills, such as using reflections instead of closed questions, using complex reflections, and using the tactical combination of open questions, reflections and summarizations to move the patient toward change. MI is, arguably, the essential skill for helping patients change, and it should be part of the armamentarium of every clinician. Reinforcing and updating one's knowledge and skills in MI, as MI evolves to be more useful and understood, is an essential part of the basic skills needed by any clinician working to help patients change their behaviors. This presentation provides a didactic overview of motivational interviewing in the context of the neurobiology of addiction and other addiction treatments and serves as a precursor to learning motivational interviewing for integration into clinical practice. 

**This content was captured at the 2017 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM.

Additional Resource: Levounis, P., Arnaout, B. & Marienfeld, C. (2017). Motivational interviewing for clinical practice. Arlington, Virginia: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.


  • General Member - $6.25
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $6.25
  • Non-Member - $12.50

Free member registration for this course through the Course of the Month program ended on March 31, 2018.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe motivational interviewing in the context of the neurobiology of addiction
  • Discuss motivational interviewing in the context of other addiction treatments

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, Residents/Fellows

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: March 1, 2018
End Date: December 31, 2020

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Director, District Branch and International Relations, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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