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Motivational Interviewing Reduces Barriers

MCTC Partners with Minn. Department of Human Services to Reduce Employment Disparities

Motivational InterviewingMinneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) has launched an initiative to provide Motivational Interviewing training for nonprofit counselors and county and tribal partners who work with recipients of the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), the state’s welfare program for low-income families with children. MCTC is using a $409,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide the training.

Over a two-year period, training will be provided throughout the Twin Cities’ metro area and Greater Minnesota. A significant segment of the training is targeted at developing a network of culturally-specific Motivational Interviewing coaches and certified trainers.

Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based technique of increasing client engagement in identifying and pursuing change while reinforcing self-motivation. Originally used by addiction counselors, Motivational Interviewing has been successfully implemented with clients in social work, healthcare and mental health counseling, and utilized by wellness coaches and probation and child protection workers. A large and growing number of controlled research studies have demonstrated that Motivational Interviewing is significantly more effective than many other interventions.

“MCTC has long been a state-wide leader in providing Motivational Interviewing training, and is one of the most ethnically diverse colleges in the state of Minnesota,” says Loretta Anderson, MCTC customized training director. “This is clearly an area of expertise for our College, with training to date delivered to more than 4,000 case managers and counselors state-wide. We hear strong feedback from our partners that they see greater success with Motivational Interviewing as they work to remove some of the obstacles holding clients back from economically viable positions.”

The 2013 sessions will include training for 40 Motivational Interviewing coaches, 16 supervisors and 120 staff in Hennepin, Anoka, Dakota, Washington and Ramsey counties, and tribal staff from the Leech Lake Band, Mille Lacs Band, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Red Lake Nation and White Earth Nation. The train-the-trainer approach used by MCTC is an efficient way to ensure the technique continues to have a long-term impact on the effectiveness of client interactions. In 2014, 20 additional coaches, 16 additional supervisors and 120 additional DHS staff in Twin Cities’ metro area counties and Greater Minnesota will be trained.

“Disenfranchised communities have traditionally had less access to opportunities that would put an end to multigenerational poverty,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “By increasing access to coaches and mentors with the evidence-based, culturally responsive skill set of Motivational Interviewing, we hope to help transform the lives of our MFIP clients and give them the tools they need to become part of our growing economy, and to reduce employment disparities.”