Motivational Interviewing in Health Care

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  • Motivational Interviewing in Health CareNov 19, 202210:30 am - 12:00 pm


Digitally through the University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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The Dr. Elizabeth Tippett Pope Lectureship in Patient Care is proud to present:


Motivational Interviewing in Health Care

November 19, 2022  10:30 AM – 12:00 PM (CST)


Every healthcare provider has faced the challenge of trying to help a patient or client change a potentially harmful or unhealthy behavior.

For the clinician, it can be frustrating and perplexing when their recommendations and efforts to mitigate patients’ unhealthy behaviors are challenged, or worse, ignored. Naturally, the clinician will then work harder to educate their patient by persuading, coercing, convincing, and reiterating their advice with greater authority. (After all, didn’t the patient come for expert advice?!) If those strategies are unsuccessful, it is common to then characterize the patient as resistant, non-compliant, oppositional, or unmotivated.

Behavioral research has shown however, that a person’s motivation is not static, and can be influenced by a clinician’s language and interaction style. A patient’s motivation and behavior (such as treatment adherence) can be shaped through evoking the patient’s own reasons to change, rather than the clinician’s persuasion, which can inadvertently have a paradoxical effect on patient behaviors.

In 1983, psychologists Dr. William Miller and Dr. Steven Rollnick developed a counselling approach which they termed Motivational Interviewing (or “MI”). Originally MI was intended to augment addictions treatments, but has since become a recognized approach to enhance not only a wide range of clinical treatment modalities, but also an effective and efficient behavior-change approach within workplaces, educational settings, athletic coaching, and families.

Motivational Interviewing is defined by Miller and Rollnick as a “collaborative, person-centered form of guiding, to elicit and strengthen motivation to change.” MI is fundamentally a form of communication. For the clinician, this means arranging and guiding a conversation so that the patient talks themselves into change, based on their values and interests. The clinician elicits and reflects the patient’s reason for change; so, attitudes and motivation are shaped by speech.

Miller and Rollnick teach us that few people are truly “unmotivated”, rather, the behaviors that lead us to characterize people as such, are likely an indication of their ambivalence. While feeling two ways about something is a normal, common experience (I should, but I’m afraid … I want to but I can’t… Maybe I will but I’m not sure … etc.), that ambivalence can interfere with positive treatment outcomes in a clinical setting. By using some of the techniques and strategies of Motivational Interviewing, a clinician can help a difficult patient explore and resolve their ambivalence, and thus improve therapeutic or treatment outcomes.

While the path to becoming a proficient MI practitioner, with all of its subtleties and nuances, is not a fast nor an easy one, Miller and Rollnick have attempted to simplify MI for health care settings by emphasizing some general guiding principles.

Learning Objectives

  • Practical application and potential barriers to MI practice in oral healthcare practices, dental teams (dentists, hygienists, assistants and staff), and dental educational settings.
  • How to have an “MI Conversation” with a patient to build and strengthen their motivation and commitment to change
  • Understanding the principles or the general spirit of MI, such as collaboration, evocation, and autonomy;
  • Understanding the patient’s perspective, values, and motivation;


Gail Johnstone 

Behavior Specialist and Member of MINT (Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers)

As an undergraduate research assistant in the 1970’s, Gail Johnstone was introduced to behavioural psychology, leading her to a 38-year career with the Government of Manitoba as a Behaviour Specialist. Gail provided clinical behavioural support to children and adults with neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders, as well as to their families, caregivers, employers, and schools.

Always keen to address gaps and identify needs in services to vulnerable populations, Gail was instrumental in the development of the first province-wide Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Outreach Program, and provided behavioral consultation, treatment, and education to children and adults who were involved with the child welfare and systems.

While with the provincial Department of Families, Gail was the behavioral consultant to Community Living Psychiatric Services, providing expertise to the development of the Intake and Brief Intervention Program, intended to address efficiencies and waitlist management. This initiative continues in current practice, and was then adopted provincially by the Behavior Psychology Services program.

Gail incorporated the practices and principles of Motivational Interviewing (MI) into her clinical behavioral practice. She was recruited as Provincial Lead of Motivational Interviewing in the Department of Families, delivering training and workshops to provincial employees and health care workers. Gail received additional MI training under the tutelage of Dr. William Miller, the co-founder of Motivational Interviewing. She is a member of Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), and continues to provide workshops, and leads communities of practice in MI as an independent consultant.


The Dr. Elizabeth Tippett Pope Lectureship in Patient Care

The Dr. Elizabeth Tippett Pope Lectureship in Patient Care honors the career and contributions of Dr. Elizabeth Tippett Pope who loved practicing dentistry in Winnipeg, Manitoba while making patients feel comfortable in the dental chair and working with her specialist colleagues.  Dr. William Pope, her loving husband, has established this endowment lectureship to celebrate the occasion of her 75th birthday.

Dr. Elizabeth Tippett Pope, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS(ENG)

Dr. Elizabeth Tippett Pope was born in London UK into a family of highly respected dentists. She graduated from Guy’s Hospital in London with the Final Year Prize in 1969, the fourth generation in her family to pursue the dental profession. She graduated from the University of Toronto DDS in 1973.

Before moving to Canada, she practiced in London for several years as a member of the General Dental Council, and was a member of the American Dental Society of Europe. From 1970-71, she spent a year in Oral Surgery Internship at Western University where she met Bill Pope. They moved to Winnipeg in 1976 where she practiced at Academy Dental until 2010. She served as a dental consultant for Manitoba Public Insurance until her retirement from practice in 2019.

Dr. Tippett Pope was well-known as an excellent clinician and a caring health care provider who put her patients at the centre and made them feel comfortable in the dental chair. Her educational contributions included time as a dental anatomy demonstrator (1978-1980) and a pre-clinical instructor (1978-1983) at the University of Manitoba. She was deeply involved in the professional community as a member of the Gold Foil Group, President of the Winnipeg Dental Society, and member of the Academy of Operative Dentistry (USA) where she was the first Canadian woman to serve on the Academy’s Board of Directors.


Registration is required for attendance to the event.  Registrant must provide an email address to receive a Verification of Attendance for submission to their respective regulatory authority to attain CDE credit hours.   Registration fee is complimentaryOne must open/sign into a CPD account to register.

This event is available online only. You will be emailed connection information prior to the event.

Study Credits

This course provides up to 1.5 hours of Continuing Dental Education (CDE) Credits.

Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry, University of Manitoba. Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2026. Provider ID# 214210.  AGD Subject Code 557


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