Addictions and Concurrent Disorders: Motivational Interviewing (MI) – OS Employees Only

Developed in partnership with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

Who is this for?

  • Registered Nurse, Registered Practical Nurse
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Psychotherapists
  • Registered Psychiatric Nurse (BC, AB, SK, MB)
  • Regulated healthcare practitioner
  • Unregulated healthcare professionals
  • Social workers, case managers and human services providers
  • Student affairs and youth services professionals
  • Educators
  • Correctional workers
  • Prevention specialists


In this course, you will learn how to effectively engage with patients/clients diagnosed with a substance use or concurrent disorder. You will be skilled in identifying the presentations of different substances and withdrawal/overdose of each substance. You will also gain insight into the critical role of MI in reducing the stigma associated with addiction, enabling you to identify the person’s current stage of change. Additionally, you will acquire practical skills in implementing OARS (open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summaries) and master the art of validation, and using non-judgmental communication, ultimately empowering individuals in their journey towards recovery.

Given an interaction with a person diagnosed with an addiction/concurrent disorder, you will be able to identify the stage of change they are in, identify presentations of substance use, and conduct motivational interviews (MI) with the individual in support of recovery.


In partnership with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences


Week 1: Welcome
Introduction to skills, graded activities, and the Yellowdig community platform.
You will also be given an overview of addictions and concurrent disorders, associated stigma, relationship between trauma and addiction,  and how to emotionally validate patients/clients during conversation.

Week 2: Navigating Substance Use
Identify presentations of different substances and signs of withdrawal and overdose. 

Week 3: Stages of Change
Identify the stage of change a person is in through client and clinician conversation and use strategies to support a client towards recovery. 

Week 4: OARS
Implement open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections and summarization when conversing with a client to support MI. 

Week 5: Roll with Resistance and Non–Judgmental Communication
Use strategies to support a client when they resist change and integrate non-judgmental communication. 

Week 6: Key Takeaways
Review all that you have learned in this course and complete our satisfaction survey!

Learner Benefits

Learn the various types of addictions and concurrent disorders
Understand the relationship between MI and stigma
Identify the stage of change a person with an addiction/concurrent disorder
Identify presentations of substance use and signs of withdrawal and overdose
Integrate emotional validation, non-judgmental inquiry, compassion and respect of autonomy
Implement OARS during the motivational interview with patient/client

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When does the course start?

    Facilitator-led course start times can be found next to the course names and descriptions.
  • How much time is required of me?

    Microcredentials typically require between 2-3 hours a week of course work. For Facilitator- led microcredentials, there is one hour a week of on-line instruction from the facilitator.
  • Do I have to show up for class?

    Attendance during facilitated time is highly recommended as it provides the most value to the microcredentials with time to learn from industry experts, network with classmates, and deeper understanding of content. However, attendance is not mandatory and all sessions are recorded and posted afterwards on the learning platform.
  • How am I evaluated?

    What makes a TALENT microcredential different is the final assessment. There are weekly multiple choice questions that will guide your learning progress then learners are given a final assignment where they will apply their learning to a practical assignment. A facilitator will evaluate the final assignment and award a digital badge if the final assignment is completed successfully.
  • Will this microcredential get me a job?

    Microcredentials are a great way to differentiate yourself when searching for a job. The digital badge can be added to social platforms and resumes to demonstrate your skills. TALENT works closely with learners to guide and advise on learner's career journeys.
  • Is there any financial assistance?

    We never want finances to be a reason why learners can't improve their skills and gain meaningful employment. If you have any questions about financial assistance, please reach out to us directly (

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