Building Motivation: Supporting Mentee Behavior Change with Motivational Interviewing


This course will be available on Feb. 1, 2024

Estimated time to complete: 45 minutes



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This course will be available on Feb. 1, 2024

Even when mentees set goals for positively changing their behaviors, they may be ambivalent about what change might mean to them. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a commonly used evidence-based approach to behavior change that trains mentors to be curious and supportive, eliciting and exploring their mentees’ reasons for wanting to change certain behaviors. By asking open-ended questions and actively listening mentors can help mentees clarify their values, identify areas where they would like to grow or change, and develop a plan of action to achieve their goals. Through a series of engaging lectures, brief exercises, and example videos, learners will be introduced to the fundamental building blocks for supporting mentees’ growth.

Sample skills

  • Building rapport and listening skills
  • Recognizing change talk and sustain talk:
  • Effective questioning techniques
  • Handling ambivalence
  • Rolling with resistance


  • Rollnick, S., & Miller, W. (1995). What is Motivational Interviewing? Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23(4), 325-334. doi:10.1017/S135246580001643X
  • Hart, M.J., McQuillin, S.D., Iachini, A. et al. Expanding School-Based Motivational Interviewing Through Delivery by Paraprofessional Providers: A Preliminary Scoping Review. School Mental Health 15, 673–691 (2023).