This seminar is designed to help you understand the Stages of Change (SOC) model and Motivational Interviewing (MI) and its relevance to your organization and your clients. Practitioners feel increased pressure to support “stuck” individuals in successfully attaching to the labour market. The challenge is that some individuals appear to have low readiness to change. We will provide you with practical methods to help these clients move forward using a collaborative, empowering, non-judgmental, non-confrontational and non-adversarial approach to overcome resistance to change.

SOC has been applied to a broad range of behaviours including weight loss, employment, and overcoming alcohol and drug problems among others.

MI, a method of interacting with clients who are ambivalent about making change in their lives, is a well-established, evidenced-based model with wide application in behavioural change: addictions, health behaviour, wellness, chronic disease management, and most recently, in the employment field.


Learn about the six stages in the change cycle and the Stages of Changewheel as they relate to employment. Originally developed by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, the idea behind the SOC model is that people tend to progress through different stages on their way to successful change. On Day One, we will explore the following SOC and the techniques practitioners need to use in each stage of change:

  • Pre-contemplation (when an individual has no perceived need for change)
  • Contemplation (when an individual is thinking about making changes)
  • Preparation (when an individual is preparing for or becoming determined to make changes)
  • Action (the individual has made the change)
  • Maintenance (the individual is consistently making changes and maintaining the changes made)
  • Termination (the individual no longer needs to attend to the task of maintaining the change)


MI is a communication model developed by professors William R Miller, PhD and Stephen Rollnick, PhD. On Day Two, we will explore how to reduce client resistance and how to create the necessary conditions to change using MI. The focus will be on how to:

  • Minimize client resistance
  • Explore and resolve ambivalence
  • Elicit “change talk”
  • Apply the spirit and four processes of MI while working collaboratively with clients
  • Recognize, respond to and support client readiness


  • Help clients overcome their ambivalence toward looking for, obtaining and retaining meaningful employment
  • Have clients be ready and willing to avail themselves more effectively of the services you are offering
  • Help clients envision a better future and become increasingly motivated to achieve it
  • Help clients think differently about their behaviour and ultimately consider what might be gained through change
  • Use what you learn to increase work readiness, achieve higher program retention, initial employment and six-month employment rates


SSA-SawatzkyRoxanne Sawatzky, is the founder and lead trainer at Empowering Change Inc. She has successfully managed a three-year $1.3 million research study for the Province of Manitoba and Federal Government of Canada, which included 3,000 participants. She is experienced in project management, program development, implementing processes, curriculum writing and best practices development. Roxanne has completed her MA in Leadership, and also holds a certificate in addictions counselling and case management.

She recently completed a second research project with the Social Research Development Corporation in British Columbia; once again focusing on using MI with ambivalent clients. While there are many good MI trainers, membership in the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) is the only status accorded to training professionals. Roxanne went to Spain in June, 2009 and as a result of the training taken there, is now a member of MINT.