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  • Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Volume 29, Issue 4
  • October 2001, pp. 457-471


  • William R. Miller (a1) and Kathy A. Mount (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2001

Professional training in motivational interviewing, as on many other topics, is often delivered via a one-time clinical workshop. To what extent do practitioners actually acquire skillfulness through such training? Twenty-two counselors participated in training, of whom 15 completed a study of changes in practice behavior up to 4 months after a motivational interviewing workshop. In addition to self-report questionnaires, they provided taped practice samples before and after training, which were coded for counselor and client behavior. On paper-and-pencil measures, participants reported large increases in motivational interviewing skills. Observational measures reflected more modest changes in practice behavior that were often retained 4 months after training. Clients, however, did not show the response changes that have been found to be predictive of better outcomes with motivational interviewing. While practice behavior changed to a statistically significant extent, the effect of training was apparently not large enough to make a difference in client response. Possible implications for training and quality control of psychotherapies are considered.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to William R. Miller, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1161, U.S.A. E-mail:
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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