The Rockland Psychiatric Center (RPC) is a New York State psychiatric hospital with 475 inpatient beds and 2,500 outpatients for a catchment area of five counties, including Manhattan. Focus groups with direct care staff (therapy aides) and their union at RPC revealed a desire for additional training on effective methods in communicating therapeutically with patients. An RPC grand rounds presentation on motivational interviewing by Mary Rosedale, Ph.D., from the New York University College of Nursing, and the successful application of motivational interviewing by psychologists at RPC led to a pilot training program in an inpatient unit. Administrative coverage was organized for the involved inpatient unit so that staff could attend training sessions. Given limited financial resources, internal RPC staff experienced in the motivational interviewing approach, rather than outside consultants, provided the training. A motivational interviewing project planning committee was formed and consisted of RPC psychologists, senior clinical nurses, and psychiatrists.