A Report on an Innovative MI Groups Training for a Transgender Study

My friends and colleagues at the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) in NYC hosted me for a 4 day training in Leading Groups and Best Practices for MI Groups.  The trainees were 5 amazing trans women who will be serving as Peer Health Navigators to help stigmatized women overcome oppression and bias while coping with stressors.  The intervention features 2 individual MI sessions as a run-in to a series of 4 group sessions, with a final MI individual session to wrap things up.  The training was a new model that builds on what Chris Wagner and I have been doing and included more hands-on practice with group leadership skills, followed by practice of MI-specific group skills.  It went exceptionally well due to the trainees’ generous participation, and to their excellent preparation from their local trainers.   I learned so much and am thrilled that they found it useful.  The intervention has a great structure but also has room to personalize it to the needs of the women.  The Peer Health Navigators have ample professional and life experiences that will suit them well as they guide other women.   I was very lucky to be a part of this “family” for nearly a week, and I plan to stay involved with this innovative and worthwhile project.

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