MI & Trauma-informed Practice with Women

The integration of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Trauma-informed practice (TIP) with women is a growing area of discussion and writing. There are many parallels between the principles of MI and TIP, including the emphasis on collaboration, respect for autonomy and empowerment. Motivational Interviewing offers an approach for how to translate these concepts into actual conversations with women at a practice level. The following resources include some specific materials on the integration of MI & TIP with women, as well as some sources for learning about TIP overall.


Motivational Interviewing and Intimate Partner Violence Workgroup. (2010). Guiding as practice: Motivational interviewing and trauma-informed work with survivors of intimate partner violence. Partner Abuse, 1(1), 92-104.

Poole, N., & Urquhart, C. (2009). Trauma-informed Approaches in Addictions Treatment, Gendering the National Framework Series (Vol. 1). Vancouver, BC: British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health.

Urquhart, C. & Jasiura, F. (2012). Collaborative Change Conversations: Integrating Trauma-informed Care and Motivational Interviewing with Women. In N. Poole & L. Greaves (Eds.), Becoming Trauma-Informed. Toronto: CAMH.

Wahab, S. (2006). Motivational Interviewing: A client centered and directive counseling style for work with victims of domestic violence. Arete, 29 (2), 11-22.

Wahab, S.  (2004). Privilege and resistance within the domestic violence movement. Minuet, 11(2), 15-17.

Wahab, S.  (2005). Motivational Interviewing and Social Work Practice.  Journal of Social Work, 5(1), 45-60.

Wenzel, S.L., et al. (2009). A pilot of a tripartite prevention program for homeless young women in the transition to adulthood. Women’s Health Issues, 19(3), 193-201.

Yahne, C.E., Miller, W.R., Irvin-Vitela, L., & Tonigan, J.S.  (2002). Magdalena pilot project: Motivational outreach to substance abusing women street sex workers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 23, 49-53.


Coalescing on Women and Substance Use: Trauma-informed online tool (BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Vancouver, BC)

Trauma Informed Practice Guide (BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health & BC Ministry of Health)

Trauma-informed toolkit (Klinic Community Health Centre, Winnipeg, MB)

Trauma Matters: Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Practices in Women’s Substance Use Services (Jean Tweed Centre, Toronto, ON)

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