Motivational Interviewing Training Returns for July Session

Wellness specialist Caitlin Barthelmes will lead the popular two-day workshop for faculty and staff on July 23 and 25.

In partnership with the Dialogue Project, wellness specialist Caitlin Barthelmes will lead a two-day training in Motivational Interviewing (MI) for faculty and staff on July 23 and 25.

MI is an evidence-based communication style that can be an instrumental tool for advisors, coaches, facilitators, and educators. It is practiced, studied, and taught in many nations and languages and has been found to be culturally adaptable.

"We consistently receive wonderful feedback each time we hold an MI training and are excited to offer another opportunity for faculty and staff to learn about and practice MI's collaborative communication techniques," Barthelmes says.

"Motivational Interviewing skills have broad applications for meaningful collaboration with students and colleagues, making it an ideal fit for the Dialogue Project," says Kristi Clemens, the project's executive director. "We are grateful for Caitlin's leadership and expertise."

The July 23 and 25 training will take place at the Life Sciences Center (Room E008) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, with a registration deadline of July 16. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Participants in Barthelmes' March 19 and 21 workshop especially valued the experiential aspect of the training. "It was so effective to learn about something and then to immediately try and practice it," one participant said in an evaluation.

Others praised the learning environment, describing it as "very trusting and fun," with immediate takeaways, such as: "I will definitely listen more from the perspective of helping people discover what is already inside of them."

Staff and faculty from the spring training represented offices and departments across Dartmouth, including Dartmouth Libraries, departments and programs in the Arts and Sciences, Student Affairs, the Dickey Center, and the Geisel School of Medicine. 

Barthelmes serves as director of the Student Wellness Center and as a member of the Dialogue Project's steering committee. She has been a member since 2012 of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, an international collective committed to promoting high-quality MI training. Her practice of MI began at Brown University in 2007, where she was involved in a vibrant research community seeking to understand the effects of MI through brief interventions in emergency departments and on college campuses. Her research has been published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Barthelmes later became part of the BNI-ART Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health/Boston Medical Center, which aims to translate evidence-based research into practice, particularly in health care settings.

The Dialogue Project provides intentional training in the development of essential collaborative dialogue skills—fostering a community that cultivates the respectful and open exchange of ideas. Programming for students, faculty, and staff builds skills in such topics as empathetic listening, managing emotions, navigating conversations, and finding points of connection. To learn more, visit

This summer the Dialogue Project also kicks off a partnership with the Constructive Dialogue Institute, with workshops planned for student-facing staff and faculty leaders. CDI develops research-based educational tools to equip schools, universities, and workplaces with a shared language and practical set of skills to build inclusive cultures and engage constructively across differences. Trainers will lead half-day sessions at Dartmouth on how to facilitate meaningful conversations on contentious issues.