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Newsletters | South Central MIRECC

Spring 2018, Volume 20, Issue 3 - In this Issue

Research to Practice: Implementation of PC-MHI in Challenged Settings - A Qualitative Study
Fall 2017 Motivational Interviewing Training
Dr. Lilian Dindo Selected as New SC MIRECC Houston Anchor Site Leader
Clinical Demonstration Project - FLOW
Pilot Study Research Program Applications Due July 2
Implementation, Design and Analysis Support Available for Affiliates

Fall 2017 Motivational Interviewing Training

The SC MIRECC Education Core hosted an online motivational interviewing (MI) training for select VISN 17 mental health providers in late September 2017. Presented by Dr. LaDonna Saxon, this interactive full-day training was delivered via Adobe Connect with small-group breakout sessions via the VANTS teleconference network. Learners included counselors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, pharmacists and pharmacy specialists.

Dr. Saxon is a staff psychologist, health behavior coordinator, and tobacco cessation lead clinician at VA North Texas Health Care System. She is also a national trainer and consultant with the VHA Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for the cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain, motivational interviewing, and motivational enhancement therapy evidence-based initiatives. She has been a member of the international motivational interviewing network of trainers since 2013 and trains providers locally and nationwide. She is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Department of Psychiatry.

The training highlighted key processes of MI and skills used by clinicians, including the fundamental spirit and principles of MI, practical guidelines for use of MI, and the counseling micro-skills essential to proficient MI practice. The training also emphasized the brief nature of MI encounters, which are applicable to a wide variety of care settings and can enhance treatment engagement for a broad variety of presenting concerns.

Thirty-five learners participated in the training. Additionally, seven VA providers served as facilitators for the breakout sessions. SC MIRECC worked with the VISN 17 Mental Health Product Line and Mental Health Service Chiefs for participant recommendations and selections. Breakout groups were assigned by each learner’s VISN 17 VA parent facility.

Of the 35 participants, 74% completed the program evaluation. Key results:

  • 42% work in a CBOC; 58% work in a VA medical center
  • Before this training, 58% were not using MI techniques in their clinical practice
  • 95% were satisfied with the training
  • 95% learned new knowledge and skills
  • 87% felt they will be able to apply the knowledge and skills they learned in their jobs
  • 88% found the Adobe Connect and VANTS training environment effective for learning

Aspects of the training respondents found useful include:

  • “Breakout sessions and the ability to practice technique with peers”
  • “The workbook and activities during breakout sessions”
  • “Learning how to form thoughtful summaries and reflections to help guide a patient towards resolving ambivalence”
  • “Role play during breakout sessions”
  • “Being able to identify the contradictions in the Veteran's expressed goal and continued avoidance and safety behaviors”

SC MIRECC network-wide training like the September MI event is determined by an annual needs assessment survey distributed to VISNs 16 and 17. Survey results are narrowed down to the top 3 training needs and reported to each network’s Mental Health Product Line and Mental Health Service Chiefs, who select the training for the upcoming fiscal year. Though these trainings are limited to selected network providers, SC MIRECC offers other opportunities for training and mental health resources to providers nationwide, including our monthly accredited National CBOC Mental Health Grand Rounds and our clinical education products.


Last updated: December 15, 2020