Courses, Apprenticeships And Funding For Personal Trainers

Behavioural Change and Motivational Interviewing (MI) Workshop


The behaviour change workshop is based around the PhD research carried out by Dr. Gary Mendoza. In this research personal Trainers (PTs) were taught how to deliver a weight management programme. Part of this research included the psychological screening of clients to assess whether they were ready to make lifestyle changes. The weight management programme ultimately achieved an 86% success rate.

The psychometric tests used in the research form a core part of this workshop. Students are taught the psychological reasoning behind each of the tests. They are then taught how to deliver and interpret the tests with their clients. Students can then use these tests in their day to day work. This will ensure they only take on clients who are ready to change and so improve their success and client retention rate.

One problem with screening in this way is ‘what do you do if a client is not ready to change’? The answer to this is to use motivational interviewing (MI). MI is designed to move clients who are ambivalent about change to a point where they are ready to change. The workshops teach students the basic skills required to be able to work with clients in an MI consistent manner. Using MI skilfully will improve a PTs communication and will enable them to better motivate their clients towards achieving their goals.

Throughout the course candidates will learn:

• The spirit of motivational interviewing (MI)
• To understand the transtheoretical model of change
• The stages of change algorithm and resources to accompany this
• What is self-efficacy and how to measure it
• What is decisional balance and how to measure this
• Accurate empathy, reflection and active listening
• How to deal with resistance to change and difficult clients
• How to set meaningful goals that have an emotional pull
• The basics of motivational interviewing as a counselling style


The course is currently not accredited but it is based on published peer reviewed literature. MI has an overwhelming amount of peer reviewed evidence to support its efficacy in helping people achieve lifestyle changes and change habitual habits. All materials provided on the course are accurately referenced with the current research in the field.


Assessment is on-going throughout the workshop. Students are required to accurately complete the psychometric tests and interpret the data these provide. Throughout the workshop “real play” is used. Students are encouraged to practice the skills they are acquiring in the workshop by working with each other. This will be one to one, or in small groups of three or four dependent on the skill being practiced. Dr Mendoza supervises all sessions and provides input to individual students throughout the workshop.

Entry Requirements

There are no pre-requisites for the course other than come along with a ‘beginners mind’ (this phrase will be explained at the start of the workshop). Be prepared to forget all you thought you knew about behaviour change and listen and learn without any biases.

Progression Routes

Having completed this workshop, should students wish to further enhance their MI skills, they will be able to take the intermediate/advanced MI workshops. These workshops are run once a year in Cardiff by Professor Stephen Rollnick (one of the founders of MI).

Course Prices

The workshop cost £320 or £600 for two if purchasing a partner ticket.

Course Dates

Clydebank Leisure Centre, 23rd, 24th June 2018.

All course dates and venues can be found on the website at: