Motivational Interviewing for Substance Use Disorders: Making Change Possible

Friday, October 25, 2019
, 9:00 AM—4:00 PM
Motivational Interviewing for Substance Use Disorders:
Making Change Possible
Suzy Langevin, LICSW

This training will provide an introduction to the spirit and skills of Motivational Interviewing, and its applications to substance use disorder.

Change is difficult for almost everyone, and it is the key to moving forward in recovery. For practitioners, behavior change often appears to be a key to improving quality of life, and we struggle with how to have productive conversations when individuals are still ambivalent about change, even when their health and wellness are significantly impacted by a substance use disorder.

Motivational Interviewing is particularly useful in substance use disorder treatment. It provides a non-judgmental, affirming and empowering response to the person struggling with substance use. This training will equip practitioners with the spirit and skills of Motivational Interviewing. You will come away well equipped to have more collaborative and fruitful conversations about change.

Special attention will be paid to the application of Motivational Interviewing for substance use disorders and other high-risk behaviors associated with substance use. Motivational Interviewing is a practice that’s learned best by doing, and practitioners will have multiple practice opportunities throughout the day to put skills into action.

Following this training the participants will be able to:

  • Understand and describe the underlying spirit of Motivational Interviewing, and how to approach conversations about change from the MI “heart-set”.
  • Describe the four basic processes of Motivational Interviewing, and how the practice builds from engagement through planning.
  • Demonstrate the core skills of Motivational Interviewing (OARS)
  • Demonstrate application of OARS in conversations about change.
  • Demonstrate techniques to enhance “change talk,” soften “sustain talk”, and recognize and work with discord.



Suzy Langevin, LICSW, Director of Dual Diagnosis Services at Open Sky Community Services, holds an MSW from Boston College. As the Director of Dual Diagnosis Services, Ms. Langevin oversees the provision of integrated services for mental health and substance use disorders for adolescents and adults. This has included developing and implementing staff training packages in harm reduction, stage-wise treatment, general knowledge of substance use and co-occurring disorders, SBIRT, and motivational interviewing; and partnering with Peer Services to develop and supervise the emerging role of Peer Recovery Coaches.

Ms Langevin has presented regionally and nationally on the implementation of integrated treatment.

She has extensive training and fidelity coding experience in Motivational Interviewing, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

Prior to her current role at Open Sky, Ms. Langevin worked to implement and supervise the provision of Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) services across adult and adolescent treatment settings. From 2015-2016, she oversaw the development and opening of The Bridge Counseling Center, the outpatient division of Open Sky. In 2014, she was awarded the ABH Excellence in Outcomes Award as a member of the CR for PTSD group. In addition to her work at Open Sky, Ms. Langevin has experience in juvenile justice, inpatient psychiatry, foster care, and emergency mental health.

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