Scott joined the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers in September 2012 and currently works with psychology students, medical students, physicians, and mental health professionals in developing MI skills and spirit. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the MS Program in Mental Health Counseling at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. His primary interests in the field of psychology include motivation, meaning, hope, MI process, positive emotions, and integrating MI with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Scott began practicing MI in 2007 as a counselor for a smoking cessation study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His trainers were MINT members Allan Zuckoff, PhD and Melanie Gold, D.O. Learning MI had a significant impact on Scott's work as a mental health therapist, as it enabled him to tune in more carefully to the language of change, fluctuations in motivation, and the therapeutic relationship. Scott has since used MI in outpatient mental health, school clinic, inpatient psychiatric, and medical settings. It became an important part of his counseling with diverse, underserved populations in West Philadelphia, who often presented with dual diagnoses and trauma histories. During his doctoral training, Scott regularly used MI while working as a Behavioral Health Consultant in primary care practices, most often when addressing treatment participation, weight loss, smoking cessation, and medication adherence.
Background in MI
MINT trainers are encouraged to model MI spirit and method as they work with participants, evoking points of practice from the trainee's knowledge and clinical experience. Trainers attempt to express accurate empathy through careful reflective listening, a critical ingredient in establishing a safe, valuing environment. Affirming strengths in participants' practice and real plays also reflects MI's emphasis on empowerment, absolute worth, and a positive view of human nature. Scott hopes that attendees take away what makes sense for them. There's no assumption that one must accept and incorporate a fixed set of MI tenets into one's work. As Miller and Rollnick write, MI is not the solution to all client problems. It's just one of the many approaches that informs good practice.