The impact of motivational interviewing training on rehabilitation counselors: Assessing working alliance and client engagement. A randomized controlled trial.

Objective: To determine the impact of a motivational interviewing (MI) training designed to improve rehabilitation counselors’ counseling skills to promote clients’ engagement in return-to-work behaviors and to establish strong working alliance. Participants: The target population for this study was counselors who work for the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) program and their clients. Data were collected from a total of 347 participants (67 counselors and 280 clients) in the experimental and comparison groups, during the pre-and-posttests. Study Method: A randomized controlled trial was used in this study. The counselors in the experimental group received a 4-hr standardized MI training and a 4-week follow-up coaching sessions. Results: The counselors in the experimental group demonstrated significant gains in their MI competence scores compared to the comparison group. The clients of the experimental group’s counselors improved their engagement in VR services and working alliance with their counselors. Conclusions: The findings of this research indicated a need for carefully developed counseling trainings and incorporation of the evidence-based practices in the VR programs to provide better quality of rehabilitation services. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)