Allan Zuckoff, PhD

Training & Consultation

About Allan Zuckoff, PhD

Dr. Allan Zuckoff is a psychologist who has specialized for more than two decades in motivational interviewing practice, training, and research. Formerly a faculty member in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, he is now Director of Training at Vital Decisions, LLC, a provider of MI-based advance care planning facilitation to people with advanced ilnesses.


Dr. Zuckoff has conducted professional training in MI across the US and internationally. (See the Experience page for a select list of trainings he has provided.) He has been a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 1998 and served from 2008 - 2014 on MINT's Board of Directors, the last two years as Chairman of the Board. From 2004 - 2010 he was Editor of the organization's newsletter, the MINT Bulletin, and from 2011 - 2014 he served as founding Editor of Motivational Interviewing: Training, Research, Implementation, Practice (MITRIP), MINT's open-access online journal. In 2008 he became one of a select group of MINT trainers to co-lead MINT's annual Training of New Trainers, the training required for MINT membership.


Dr. Zuckoff draws on diverse clinical experiences in his MI training. He was on staff from 1993 - 2002 at the Center for Psychiatric and Chemical Dependency Services of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, serving as clinical supervisor and co-director of training during the latter half of the decade. He received training and supervision in time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy as a therapist in the National Institute of Drug Abuse Collaborative Cocaine Addiction Treatment Study between 1992 - 1997 and provided motivational interviewing in several research studies between 1997 - 2002. 


Dr. Zuckoff was invited to join WPIC's Panic, Anxiety, and Complicated Grief Treatment Research program in 2000 by director Katherine Shear, MD, to integrate MI in the newly developed cognitive-behavioral Complicated Grief Treatment (CGT). He provided CGT in its first randomized controlled trial, co-led trainings in CGT with Dr. Shear, and developed .an adaptation of CGT for persons with co-occurring substance use disorders. He also spent several years providing assessment and treatment of depressed older adults in WPIC's Late Life Depression Treatment Research Center, becoming certified in interpersonal psychotherapy and problem-solving therapy.  


Dr. Zuckoff was a member of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2001 - 2009, when his primary appointment moved to the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Psychology, where he remained until 2015. His research focused primarily on development and testing of new applications of motivational interviewing. He directed the training and supervision of clinicians in studies of MI for adherence to treatment by adults with co-occurring mood and substance use disorders; engagement in depression treatment by mothers of psychiatrically ill children, pregnant women, and patients in primary care; adherence to behavior therapy in adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder; pregnancy and STD prevention and smoking cessation in adolescents; HIV risk reduction in high-risk men and women; and resolution of residual ambivalence about organ donation  in living donors. He was a co-investigator in WPIC's Mental Health Interventions Research Center for Mood and Anxiety Disorders and the Research Network Development Core of WPIC's Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research for Late-Life Mood Disorders.


Dr. Zuckoff has presented his academic work in numerous international conferences and peer-reviewed journals. His book (with Bonnie Gorscak, PhD), Finding Your Way to Change: How the Power of Motivational Interviewing Can Reveal What You Want and Help You Get There, was published in 2015 by The Guilford Press. He is also co-author of Improving Treatment Compliance: Counseling and Systems Strategies for Substance Abuse and Dual Disorders (with Dennis C. Daley, PhD), several chapters in books in the "Applications of Motivational Interviewing" series (Stephen Rollnick, PhD, and William R. Miller, PhD, editors), as well as chapters and articles on complicated grief treatment and interpersonal psychotherapy. (See the Publications page for a list of his published works.)