Heart Foundation

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HFCP 001| Change is Possible 

Helping People Change: Motivating, Engaging and Attracting Clients into Treatment

Workshop Overview

People are often not ready to embrace strategies to improve their mental health, physical health and substance abuse problems. Helping adults and adolescents change involves engaging them into a participatory and accountable service plan. Central to this is to quickly join with the client and build a therapeutic alliance. 

This workshop is designed to increase skills in engaging adults and adolescents with co-occurring disorders, physical health and/or other behavior problems as active participants in developing a service plan that makes sense to the client. For some that may require a harm reduction plan as a first step to engagement and lasting change. 

The workshop will also provide the opportunity for participants to practice ways to help quickly engage clients into treatment and encourage change with honesty, not game playing; accountability, not arguing. There will be opportunity to discuss case examples. Participants are encouraged to bring clinical situations and vignettes for role-playing and case consultation.

Workshop Objectives: 

  • Review how people change and motivational enhancement therapies to engage the client as an active participant in treatment.
  • Apply ways to better assess people's readiness to change and quickly develop the treatment contract.
  • Demonstrate skills to help engage, motivate and retain clients in treatment.
  • Improve the flexibility of services and documentation to promote accountable participation in treatment.


New York State should pass legislation to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 so that youth who are charged with a crime are treated in more age appropriate manner.


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