When I graduated with my Master’s of Social Work (MSW) in 2013, I felt ready to tackle the world. I knew all about social justice. I had learned all the theories. I had learned about trauma. About the importance of community. The impact of racism and oppression. The endless cycle of poverty. White privilege. Cultural humility. I soaked it all in, and I couldn’t wait to start applying this knowledge in the field of social work. Cut to three weeks later, walking into my first day of work at a homeless shelter - and the undeniable truth that I had no idea what I was doing.
When I was first invited to apply for the manager position of the drop-in center where I worked as a case manager, I turned it down. I enjoyed being a case manager and working directly with clients, and I didn’t want the responsibility of running a program, writing reports, and going to meetings.
Instead, I participated in the search for a new Program Manager. Most of the candidates were not well qualified for this position, but we eventually found someone who seemed good and made him an offer. He accepted. And then he didn’t show up for his first day of work.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a conversational style that encourages people to take a closer look into the mirror of their lives and to consider what changes, if any, they might want to make. MI is an invitational approach, never seeking to impose or coerce (read more on Motivational Interviewing).
MI is rigorously person-centered. It is grounded in the belief that people already possess the essentials of what they need to determine the course of their lives: life experience, hopes, wisdom, knowledge, skills, and already-existing motivation. The primary role of the practitioner is to help shine a light on those essentials that may be obscured by various events in a person’s life. As William R. Miller notes, the mindset of MI is that “you already have what you need, and together let’s find it.” Even with this in mind, there is a place in MI for offering information and suggestions. However, the primary focus is to tap into the expertise people already have and build upon it.
Critical Time Intervention (CTI) is a case management model originally designed to prevent recurrent homelessness by connecting individuals with supports in their community. It provides flexible, individualized, and focused support after a person transitions from shelter to housing. Here are six reasons CTI might be just what your community needs:
- CTI can reach more people than other models.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a “collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.” With growing recognition of the benefits of using MI in health and human services, organizations are increasingly sponsoring staff training. Typically, these trainings are one-time events lasting between a half-day and two days. After the training is completed, it is not uncommon for participants to state that they use MI in their program.