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Alan McRobbie - Scottish Training on Drugs and Alcohol (STRADA) - University of Glasgow

Psychological Therapies and Alcohol and Substance Misuse

As a part of the PIT MI programme, the National Motivational Interviewing Coach Group was established, with coaches receiving training in delivering coaching in small groups as well as participating in a national training programme of skills enhancement training in Motivational Interviewing.  Coaches are encouraged to establish local MI coaching groups across Scotland.  National training events include a yearly MI Winter School where coaches and participants together work in small groups to enhance their MI skills through active reflection and practice.  

Alan McRobbie has participated in this programme as both a participant, and then as a coach who has actively sought out ways to increase his knowledge of MI as a practitioner, coach, and trainer. 

Alan is responsible for developing and delivering workforce development training.  He specialises in the practice development of Motivational Interviewing (MI) at STRADA, a national workforce development organisation commissioned by the Scottish Government to support those working with and affected by drug and alcohol misuse in Scotland. STRADA works to strengthen the knowledge and skills of staff working in the substance misuse field in order that the interventions available locally aid the recovery of those affected by substance misuse. STRADA is a partnership between the University of Glasgow's School of Education and DrugScope. 

With his passion for supporting the drug and alcohol workforce in developing skillfulness in MI, STRADA supported Alan’s continuing professional development in MI through the NES training in Enhancing Skilfulness in MI Practice as well as his successful application to become a member of the National Motivational Interviewing Coach Group (NMICG). 

Alan has continued his training by being accepted for the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) Training of New Trainers event in Indiana, USA where he successfully completed this training and became a member of MINT.  Following this, Alan was part of a team funded by NES to be trained in the practice of the validated MI coding tool MIA-STEP (Motivational Interviewing Assessment: Supervisory Tools for Enhancing Proficiency) at Yale University.

Alan said:  “I am using these training opportunities in my work at STRADA, and will be working with a local authority drug and alcohol team based in Tayside to enhance the MI skilfulness of the entire team through a 12 month rolling training programme.  It will include introductory and intermediate level training in MI, and post-training coaching using the MIA-STEP rating scales.

“This joint working provides a good example of the ongoing collaboration between STRADA and NES in taking forward MI practice in Scotland amongst the drug and alcohol workforce.”