This training is presented by The Professional Youth Worker. It's our mission to help you and your team build your skills and boost your passion for serving young people. Join us!

Motivational Interviewing in Youth Work

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  • Live Online Training
  • Thursday, February 3, 2022
  • 10:30 am to 11:30 am Central Time
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • $20 for non-YIPA members
  • Not a member? Annual membership is $124 for individuals or $300 for organizations. Join now or learn more.

Your Training Description

Even when a young person might recognize their behavior as self-destructive, making change is never easy. They may get lots of good advice and guidance and still struggle to change. It’s human nature to be resistant to imposed change, even if that change is for the better. But when the change is defined by them, in their voice, making change is easier to achieve. Getting in touch with their inner motivations and values will help them explore and resolve their ambivalence to change.

Youth work is all about supporting positive change. The rapport you build as a youth worker puts you in an ideal position to use Motivational Interviewing skills. Rather than giving advice or instruction, you’ll be able to have collaborative conversations. Respecting their desire for autonomy will enhance their self-esteem and build self-confidence to develop a better decision-making process and make positive choices that support their health and well-being.

Learn about the main concepts of Motivational Interviewing. You’ll gain tools for initiating change talk to help the young people you serve define and reach their goals. You’ll learn how to assess their readiness for change. Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, youth-centered approach to strengthen a person’s own motivation and commitment to change. Every youth worker needs this skill set!

Your Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the central principles of motivational interviewing (MI), including OARS, the cycle of change, and eliciting change talk
  • Consider ways in which MI is particularly beneficial in youth work
  • Observe and learn from trainer ‘real-plays’ demonstrating specific MI activities and exercises
  • Explore how you can apply MI principles in your programs

Your Trainers

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Miriam Itzkowitz is the Director of Trauma-Informed Care for the Institute to Transform Child Protection at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. In this role, Miriam develops and trains on best practices at the intersection of legal services and trauma-responsive care. She also serves as the social work supervisor for graduate social work students to link theory and practice and to serve the clients represented through ITCP Child Protection Clinic. Miriam has clinical experience counseling adults and adolescents in clinical, home, and school settings. In her private practice, Miriam uses an eclectic approach to individual and couples therapy, incorporating cognitive, creative, and holistic techniques to assist clients in sustaining authentic identities, coping with difficulties, and overcoming trauma. Miriam is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work. She received her BA from Grinnell College and her MSW from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work.

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Katie Olson is the Director of Training in the Institute to Transform Child Protection at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Katie develops and implements training curricula focused on mandatory reporting, trauma and resiliency in legal systems, parent representation, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and practical skills for professionals in the child welfare and related fields. She is also an adjunct faculty, teaching courses focusing on the constitutional rights of families and the ethics of trauma responsive legal advocacy. Katie is a volunteer attorney with the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, representing children in foster care in their child protection cases. Previously, Katie was an Education Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education, where she investigated reports of maltreatment in MN public schools and served as the program’s training coordinator. Katie has worked as a judicial law clerk, family law attorney, youth program director, family advocate, and PCA.

Katie received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago and completed her undergraduate work in family social science and family violence prevention at the University of Minnesota. 

Your Competency Focus Area

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Each of YIPA’s trainings are designed around a broad framework of eight youth work competencies. The competency focus of this training is: COMMUNICATIONS.

Gain communication flexibility which allows you to develop healthy, productive work relationships, engage in collaborative problem solving with youth, and improve individual and group facilitation.

Your Training Details

  • Live Online Training
  • Thursday, February 3, 2022
  • 10:30 am to 11:30 am Central Time
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • $20 for non-YIPA members
  • Not a member? Annual membership is $124 for individuals or $300 for organizations. Join now or learn more.
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This training will count as 1 CE hour for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions on submitting. You are encouraged to print or save this training information as a PDF for your records.