Become a “MINTie” – Guest article by Jennifer Hettema, PhD

The Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) is an international organization committed to promoting high-quality motivational interviewing (MI) practice and training. MINT maintains a website with information regarding MI research, practice, and training at the MINT website.  MINT is made up of professionals from a range of backgrounds, including counselors, psychologists, physicians, nurses, dieticians, corrections officers, and more.

In order to join MINT, or become a “MINTie,” an individual must participate in a MINT or MINT-endorsed Training of New Trainers (TNT). These 3-day training are typically held annually and alternative between North America and other locations. The trainings are conducted in a workshop format and focus specifically on strategies to effectively train and disseminate MI. After completing a TNT, members are required to pay annual dues. Members receive access to special sections of the MINT website, can participate in the Annual MINT Forum, which is typically held right after each year’s TNT, can participate in the MINT listserv, and can identify as a member of MINT and be listed as a MINT trainer on the MINT website. MINT does not currently “certify” any of its members.

Formal Application Process

There is a formal application process for participating in a MINT TNT. While the process varies slightly year by year, it has historically involved completing a written application and submitting a practice sample to demonstrate ability to practice MI. More information about the application process can be found inn the document How to Become a Member of MINT. The written application asks applicants to describe their background in MI, including receipt of training and providing training to others. The practice sample, which can be submitted as an audio-recording of your work with a real patient, or completed live over the telephone with a standardize patient, is coded with the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Code to ensure proficiency. There is a fee to apply and the TNT typically fills up quickly once opened.

Before applying

Before applying, it is recommended that you:

-Participate in introductory and advanced motivational interviewing workshops, trainings, or classes.
-Engage in other MI training activities, including smaller talks and webinars, reading or conducting research, watching videos, reading books or workbooks, participating in learning communities, etc.
-Get feedback and coaching on your practice from a current MINTie. To find a trainer, a list of trainers has been provided by the “Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.”
-Train or co-train on MI.

Some Tips

Some tips for increasing your chances of being accepted into the TNT include the following:

-Apply early. Applications are typically opened in March.
-Carefully write and review your application.
-Review MINT’s Mission and incorporate these concepts into your application if it aligns with your views.
-Ask a current MINTie to review your application and provide feedback.
-Ask a skilled coder to code your practice sample using the MITI prior to submission.

The next TNT will be help in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 29-31, 2018, followed by the Annual Forum from November 1st-3rd, 2018. Those interested are encouraged to sign up early for that and updates regarding upcoming TNTs.

Meet our Guest Blogger, Jennifer Hettema, PhD

Jennifer Hettema is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) at the University of New Mexico. She is a clinical psychologist and conducts research on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of brief behavioral health interventions in medical and other settings, with an emphasis on promoting health equity. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and much of her research integrates this approach. Dr. Hettema is the Principal Investigator on several large federally funded grants that investigate the impact of brief motivational interviewing on an array of behaviors, including unintended pregnancy, unhealthy alcohol use, drug use, and medication adherence. She develops curricula and teaches medical students, residents, faculty, and other health professions students. Dr. Hettema is also the Associate Vice Chair for Research in the DFCM where she develops and implements strategies to promote scholarly activity and support grant writing.

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