Jordan Van Godwin:
My trip to the International Conference for Motivational Interviewing (ICMI) 2017, offered a number of firsts for me. It was the first international conference I had attended, the first long haul flight I had been on, and the first time I had been to the USA!
The conference, held in Philadelphia USA, was informative and interesting, offering me the chance to explore a range of excellent motivational interviewing research being conducted across the world. The conference also opened my eyes to the expansive world of MI research, with presentations from multiple perspectives including healthcare, criminal justice, neuroscience and adolescent well being. The chance to meet a great variety of practitioners, researchers/academics and clinicians in such a welcoming and friendly atmosphere provided invaluable experience. I also had the opportunity to present a poster on our Group Motivational Interviewing (GMI) project in secondary schools (more info on the project here). We received really positive feedback from other delegates and this will also hopefully lead to future collaborative work too. International conferences really are an excellent opportunity to engage and network with people from all over the world and gain a more detailed understanding of the breadth of research taking place.
The city of Philadelphia itself was also a memorable experience offering unexpected delights, from farmers markets and independent coffee shops to the more traditional experiences, such as baseball and – of course – the Philly cheese-steak! It was also a privilege to have the opportunity to visit the iconic symbols of American independence, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
Both the conference and the City of Philly have made a significant impression on me and I hope to get the chance to attend them again in the future.
Presenting at the International Conference for Motivational Interviewing 2017 offered a fantastic opportunity to disseminate our work from the GMI_ALC study to an international audience of experts in the field of Motivational Interviewing research and practice. The conference is the major international scientific conference for Motivational Interviewing, and we previously presented results from an earlier stage of the GMI_ALC study in a symposium at the 2014 conference.
My oral presentation on the results of the most recent phase of the study was scheduled as the first of three presentations in a breakout session focused specifically on the use of Motivational Interviewing in groups, alongside a presentation from our co-investigator Professor Chis Wagner from Virginia Commonwealth University. Following the presentation, delegates had some interesting questions and useful insights into the results of the work, and discussion continued into the poster session that took place afterwards. As a result, we made connections with MI researchers and practitioners from around the globe who were interested in the possible applications of our research in their respective countries.
Aside from disseminating our work, attending the conference was a valuable opportunity to network with other researchers in the field and to hear about exciting new developments in MI research and practice. In addition, attending the pre-conference workshops contributed to our ongoing professional development with regards developing and implementing MI within research settings.