Motivational Interviewing for Chronic Pain

A 4-week virtual training for all practitioners who treat pain

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Why this course?

How Motivational Interviewing can enhance your practice

Motivational interviewing is a method that empowers people to play an active role in pain self-management and addresses barriers, such as fear avoidance and limited adherence. 

Practitioners who develop these skills demonstrate improved outcomes in addressing multiple behavioral factors, including the promotion of physical activity, weight management, proper nutrition, sleep hygiene, stress modification, and substance use.

Meet your instructor:

Course Description

Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon that involves physical, psychological, and emotional consequences. Successful outcomes require significant patient engagement to promote effective self-management in areas including exercise, nutrition, substance use, sleep, and stress modulation. Motivational interviewing is a collaborative, patient-centered communication technique designed to strengthen the patient-provider relationship and address patient perspectives regarding proposed interventions. Motivational interviewing has been shown to reduce barriers to adherence and facilitate non-pharmacologic management of chronic pain. In addition, it supports other interventions including pain neuroscience education, cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy. 

Within this course, we will review social and behavioral approaches to self-management, particularly topics related to pain self-efficacy and other biopsychosocial characteristics. Participants will learn and apply motivational interviewing techniques using case-based scenarios. The ultimate goal of this course is to develop strategies that can be successfully employed when counseling patients to create personalized action plans to improve health behaviors and successfully manage chronic pain.

Benefits Of This Program:

Improved outcomes

Patients who are empowered to make decisions about their health that better reflect their personal circumstances experience improved health outcomes.

Community support

Network with your peers and Dr Joe Tatta, share best practices and research interests. Identify the root cause of patient pain and assess patients and clients holistically.

Increase referrals

Evidenced-based strategies and techniques to increase your referrals and generate higher revenues for your practice.

“I’ve structured the course to keep things sequential and straightforward to assimilate [Dr Joe Tatta]

Discuss the nature of acute and chronic pain, including individual variations in causes and consequences.

Explain how improved patient-provider communication reduces biological, psychological, social, and cognitive consequences of chronic pain.

Identify challenges in the treatment of chronic pain, such as insufficient research evidence, inadequate training for healthcare providers, and limited access to appropriate patient resources.

Describe the spirit and substance of motivational interviewing, a patient-centered collaborative communication strategy designed to enhance patient engagement, adherence, and behavioral outcomes.

Establish a strong rationale supporting the use of motivational interviewing (MI) when working with individuals who experience chronic pain, including the use of MI to address behavioral risk factors such as substance use, lack of adequate physical activity, and improper nutrition.

Apply components of social and behavioral theory, such as the Theory of Reasoned Action and the Transtheoretical Model of Human Behavior to identify patients’ readiness to change, as well as contextual barriers and facilitators of a healthy lifestyle using a biopsychosocial model of assessment, prevention and treatment of chronic pain.

Engage in collaborative dialogue with patients using motivational interviewing to assist individuals in developing a personalized action plan that includes specific behavioral goals, strategies to overcome challenges, additional resources and support, and schedules.

Provide appropriate feedback during client interactions by evaluating an individual’s commitment to change and eliciting and affirming self-efficacy, positive outcome expectations, and effective self-management.

Course Details

Use the arrows below to expand each section

Week 1: Biopsychosocial Model of Chronic Pain

Welcome and Pain Theories

Modifiable and Non-modifiable Risk Factors of Chronic Pain

Substance Use Disorders

Week One Handout

Personal Behavior Change Worksheet

Hyperlinks and Websites Listed in Course Slides

Week 1 Quiz

Patient Engagement

Patient Education and Pain Management

Motivational Theory and Readiness to Change

Week Two Handout

Health Care Climate Questionnaire

Week 2 Quiz

Promoting Patient Empowerment

Shared Decision Making

Assessing & Addressing


Week Three Handout

Kearns – Pain Stages of Change

Miller – Eight Stages of Learning Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing Techniques: OARS

Week 3 Quiz

5A’s and 5R’s

Phases of MI

Case Studies and Readiness to Change

Week Four Handout

Self-Assessment Checklist

Motives for Physical Activity Scale

Personal Action Plan

Week 4 Quiz

Reference List

Complete Course Survey for CE/CEUs

Faculty: Meet your instructor


Feel free to get in touch using the ‘Contact’ link above if you don’t find the answer to your questions.

Is this program approved for CEUs?

Yes! This course is approved for 7 CEUs for PTs and OTs.

The Integrative Pain Science Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department, State Board of Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant continuing education. This course is approved in New York as well as more than 34 states through reciprocity (see below for a list of states).


Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida (Rule 64B17-9), Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

​​This course is also approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.

NOTE: Some states still do not require continuing education for re-licensure. In addition, some states do not perform verification of continuing education material, which means they do not approve courses for CEU credit and usually accept any material. Please check with your state physical therapy association or state PT board for more details.

For participants outside of the United States or those who do not require a formal CEU certificate, we will be happy to provide a Letter of Participation form that you may keep for your records. Upon completion of the course, please contact us at [email protected] to request the form. Please check with your industry governing body to confirm whether this is required for your continuing education.

Registration includes unlimited access. You have as long as you need to complete the program and you can come back to the training as many times as needed.

This is an on-demand program. Each week you will receive new content. The program can be accessed in real-time, anywhere, and at any time. If you fall behind you can catch up at your own pace.

This program requires approximately 1-2 hours per week to complete.

Lessons are available in a variety of formats to make learning easy and fun, including video, audio, transcripts, study guides, PDF handouts and quizzes.

You will also receive FREE exclusive access to …

Free Download

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