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Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Ken Kraybill

Ken Kraybill
Ken has worked in health, behavioral health, homelessness, and housing for more than 30 years. As the Director of Training for t3, he develops curricula and provides training nationally in best practices including Motivational Interviewing, outreach and engagement, Housing First, trauma-informed care, and renewal for care providers. He is also a member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).
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Recent Posts

Entering into the Shadows of Whiteness

“Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” – David Gaider

“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” – Author Unknown


Clyde Lloyd shared with me an encounter he had while attending a conference in a hotel. Heading down to the conference check-in area, he was alone in an elevator as it stopped to pick up another passenger. A woman looking at her cellphone entered. Upon glancing up, she stopped abruptly, then quickly exited the elevator murmuring, “Go ahead. I’ll wait for the next one.”

Motivational Interviewing: Salting the Oats

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.

Is it Motivational Interviewing?

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.

The Doctrine of Discovery: A Legacy of Disgrace

I continue to be haunted and inspired by a speech given by Chief Wilton Littlechild at the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference in Vancouver, BC in November 2014. Chief Littlechild, a Cree Canadian with a humble, but powerful presence, is a lawyer, former member of Parliament, and one of three commissioners appointed to oversee the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) currently being conducted in Canada.