Motivational Interviewing: Engagement as the Foundation for Change

Motivational Interviewing: Engagement as the Foundation for Change

October 13, 2023

9:00am – 4:00pm

6 CEUs

In-Person Only at the Crown Family School

Motivational Interviewing is a highly evidence-based approach to supporting people who are navigating self-defined goals in the areas of physical health, mental health, substance use, and more. As a practice that is based in person-centered care, it is easily integrated within trauma-informed, harm reduction, culturally responsive, and healing-centered practices.

This experiential workshop will orient attendees to the spirit, fundamental processes, and core strategies of motivational interviewing with a focus on engagement and relationship building. This workshop is appropriate for practitioners from the fields of health care, substance use, mental health, housing, employee assistance programs, case management, HIV services, prevention, youth services, and senior service settings.

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

• Assess whether their own practice is aligned (or not aligned) with the spirit of motivational interviewing as part of their own reflective practice

• Describe the goals and approaches used in motivational interviewing, including the four intentional processes: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning

• Use at least two motivational interviewing techniques to foster engagement


Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC, is the Director of Policy and Practice for Domestic Violence and Substance Use at the National Center for Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, as well as a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She is a 2012 graduate of SSA (now Crown Family School) in the Extended Evening Program. Gabriela brings 15 years of experience working with survivors of domestic violence and other trauma; providing direct services, training, advocacy, and consultation; and leading programs using a trauma-informed approach, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Gender Responsive Care, Housing First, and third wave behavioral interventions. Gabriela has been recognized with numerous awards, including Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s 2018 Health Award, and the Illinois Association of Addiction Professionals chapter of NADAAC’s 2017 Rising Star Award. Gabriela has provided training and technical assistance related to serving marginalized communities impacted by trauma and other social determinants of health, locally, nationally, and internationally.


This workshop will take place in-person at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice:

969 E 60th Street; Chicago, IL 60637

Mask optional. This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.

If you have any questions about access or to request a reasonable accommodation that will facilitate your full participation in this event such as ASL interpreting, captioned videos, Braille or electronic text, food options for individuals with dietary restrictions, etc. please contact the event organizer.