MI in Juvenile Justice Settings

Are you looking for an alternative to the directive approaches traditionally used in Juvenile Justice settings?  Working with mandated clients is a complicated endeavor to begin with, but when your clients are teens who are seeking—and testing the limits of— their autonomy, treatment can easily backfire without a collaborative working alliance.

In this course Ali Hall, JD, and her colleagues demonstrate how to reach effective outcomes with juvenile justice clients using Motivational Interviewing (MI). Through demonstrations with 3 clients, you will see how MI enables the counselors to partner with their teen clients in ways that validate and empower them, even within the confines of the correctional system. What’s more, you’ll learn how to sidestep the urge to advise, direct, or confront struggling youth.

See how MI provides Hall with the tools to build a strong alliance with Samantha, on probation for marijuana possession,  and how it enables her to take responsibility for her own achievements. Daniel Domaguin will show you how to deescalate angry clients using MI techniques in juvenile hall, while Deborah Collins demonstrates both MI-compliant and non-compliant approaches working with Tony, a teen mandated to counseling for substance use.

Finally, a roundtable discussion with the 3 counselors demonstrates how to provide on-going coaching support for your staff.

This highly praised course fills a much needed gap for training staff and counselors in this challenging environment.

Course hosts:  Sebastian Kaplan, PhD, and Victor Yalom, PhD.

Counselors featured: Ali Hall, JD, Debra Collins, LMFT, Daniel Domaguin, LCSW.  

BONUS: 3 short video interviews with MI trainers that implemented Motivational Interviewing in Juvenile Justice environments. Learn from their experience what helped them be successful, and find out what challenges you will need to overcome.


“This video should be in every counselor’s toolkit!  After 40 years of counseling teenagers, I welcome how this powerful video captures the benefits of MI conversations with teenagers facing serious complex problems. The video-recorded sessions provide an excellent contrast between MI compliant and MI noncompliant (traditional therapy) counseling and how the therapist repaired the ruptured relationship.   The MI peer supervision session is a bonus for supervisors and counselor educators.”

—Jane M. Webber, PhD, LPC, Lecturer, Counselor Education Program, Kean University

“A superb job of describing and demonstrating the use of MI with clients involved in the juvenile justice system. This will be very useful for those working with juvenile clients who are looking to utilize or increase their use of this effective communication method.”

—Melinda Hohman, PhD, author, Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice, Director, SDSU School of Social Work.

 “An excellent complement to classroom training because it provides demonstrations as well as explanations of how to use MI skills in longer contact sessions with young people in the juvenile justice system, as well as brief interactions when time is very limited. Includes numerous examples of rolling with resistance, reflective listening, eliciting change talk, along with affirmations (OARS), elicit/provide/elicit, and planning for positive change.”

—Liz Craig, MPA, EBP Trainer/Consultant, Member MI Network of Trainers


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