Mindy Mitnick is a licensed psychologist practicing in Minneapolis. She received a masters of education from Harvard University and a master of arts from the University of Minnesota. She specializes in work with families in the divorce process and with victims of abuse and their families. Ms. Mitnick has trained professionals throughout the country and abroad in identification and treatment of child abuse, the use of expert witnesses in child abuse and divorce cases, effective interviewing techniques with children, interventions in high-conflict divorce and the impact of psychological trauma. She has been a speaker for the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, National Association of Council for Children, the association of Family and Conciliation Courts and numerous statewide multidisciplinary training programs. Ms. Mitnick has written and taught extensively about the assessment of child sexual abuse allegations during custody disputes. She has served as an expert witness in both child abuse and divorce cases and has published several articles on these topics. She is a contributor to Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse, published by Sage and a co-author of “Sexual Abuse Allegations and Parental Separation: Smokescreen or Fire?” published in the Journal of Family Studies in 2007.
Improving your interviews with children
The use and misuse of psychological testing in child abuse cases
Allegations of sexual abuse in high conflict divorcing parents
Developmental issues in interviewing children
Domestic violence and parenting disputes: Implications for parents and children
Working with difficult people
Differentiating types of domestic violence
Developmental impact of child abuse
What are child friendly interventions?
Identification and intervention in intra-familial sexual abuse
Long hours in the ballet studio while I was growing up taught me poise and persistence. Always trying to achieve a beautiful form, I learned that practice did not make me perfect, but it did produce much better results. That model of hard work helped me persist when others doubted the seriousness of child sexual abuse in the 70’s when I first saw the problem in clinical practice.
In elementary school, I was involved in community theater. In “Time Out for Ginger”, I “made the cover” of Life magazine as the first girl to play football on an all-boys’ team. I treasured the photo of me in full football gear on a mock-up cover of the magazine. On the other hand, when we did musicals, I was actually asked to move my lips but make no sound. Fortunately, when I present at professional conferences, I don’t have to sing the material.
In High School, when I decided to join the Forensics Team, debate didn’t seem like a good fit, so I chose Extemporaneous Speaking. The topics I had to speak about are lost in the recesses of my memory. When I began my work with the Family Court, testifying seemed very hard until I discovered it was a unique combination of preparation and extemporaneous speaking skills.
So ballet, acting and extemporaneous speaking have helped me become an effective expert witness and an informative and entertaining speaker. I view this as such an advantage that I could not have foreseen. I like to think the professionals I work with and for agree with me.