Using motivational interviewing to meet core competencies in psychiatric resident training

Acad Psychiatry. 2011 Jan-Feb;35(1):46-50. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.35.1.46.


Objective: the authors propose that motivational interviewing (MI), a brief intervention designed to manage ambivalence regarding complex behavior change, is well suited for integration into psychiatric residency training programs.

Methods: the authors provide a brief description of MI. In addition, based on a review of the literature the authors explore which core competencies the empirically validated, client-centered, and directive method of MI would address.

Results: the authors argue that psychiatric residency programs can effectively address several core competencies through the addition of MI training in their curricula, including Brief Psychotherapy, Patient Care, and Interpersonal and Communication Skills.

Conclusion: the implementation of MI training offers psychiatric residency programs potential benefits in several key areas. However, the authors provide guidance for important research questions to more confidently ascertain whether MI training for psychiatric residents is worthwhile.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Education
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Interview, Psychological*
  • Motivation
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Program Development
  • Psychiatry / education*
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods*