Scott is a licensed Psychologist in Pennsylvania, who received his BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and PsyD in Clinical Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He joined the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers in September 2012 and currently works with students, physicians, and mental health professionals in developing MI and positive psychology counseling skills. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the MS Program in Mental Health Counseling at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2007, he developed the 7-week workshop "A Happier You" to help people learn how to increase positive experiences in life, a program which has been featured on NPR and CBS News. Scott also writes for the Health Section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. His primary interests in the field of psychology include motivation, meaning, hope, MI process, positive emotions, and integrating MI with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Background in Motivational Interviewing
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. Since joining the MINT in 2012, Scott has trained regionally and nationally for over 35 organizations, including the American Psychological Association, National Committee for Quality Assurance, Health Federation of Philadelphia, and Penn Community Health Worker Program. He was recently the keynote speaker for the "Recovery 360" conference in Philadelphia where he spoke about the connection between MI and recovery from serious and persistent mental illness.
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.