This week I spent 2 days in Cardiff being trained by two 'queens' of motivational interviewing coding; Denise Ernst and Terri Moyers over from the USA. They have spent many years working on how to tell when someone is using motivational interviewing (MI) proficiently. Why? Firstly for research purposes; if you do a trial to see if MI works you need to know that MI is actually being used properly by the practitioners. Secondly for coaching trainees; it is useful to be able to give people specific feedback on what they are doing well and how they could improve. It is for the second reason I learned to code.

The instrument they developed is called the MITI (Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Code) and they have developed it over many years to more accurately monitor best practice . As our understanding of how MI works grows so the MITI has been adapted.

Several years ago I trained to use MITI 3 and have been using it to code assignments on our Advanced MI courses. Last year the MITI 4 came out and, wanting to offer our students the most up to date coaching I booked on the first UK course.

There are several differences and this is not the place to detail them. Google MITI 4 for the full story if you are technically minded. For me, learning to accurately assess the technicalities of what goes on in an MI session will help me with both my teaching and my own practice; very hard work but a big learning experience from 2 fantastic teachers..