People seated at the union terrace at night, listening to live music

Keynote sessions

Friday, August 9: Morning keynote with Karen Gautney

MI in Non-Voluntary Treatment: Overcoming Systemic and Interpersonal Barriers to Engagement with Justice-Involved Clients

We are often called upon to provide mandated treatment to non-voluntary clients, including those who are physically incarcerated, on community supervision or engaged in restorative justice. Justice systems ask practitioners to “fix” these mandated clients with the singular aim of reducing recidivism. Not surprisingly, justice-involved people have little interest in being changed in this way, and they are often suspicious, distrustful and even hostile toward the provider. These factors create a context where engagement is difficult and tricky. Many providers press on with treatment with little hope of truly engaging the non-voluntary client.

This session will review the contextual issues that create tension between mandated treatment, including correctional treatment, and the spirit and practice of Motivational Interviewing. We will also explore how we can use Motivational Interviewing first to engage justice-involved clients to participate in treatment and continue to engage them as we guide them to contemplate behavioral changes in their lives. Key skills will be highlighted to aid engagement, such as emphasizing autonomy, ask-offer-ask, tolerating sustain talk and reflecting anti-social expressions.

Session learning objectives:

  • Describe justice-system factors that are inconsistent with the spirit of Motivational Interviewing
  • Explain the experiences of justice-involved clients that contribute to discord with helpers
  • Discuss the unique challenges of the Motivational Interviewing professional working with non-voluntary clients
  • Plan to use MI skills to mitigate many of the systemic and interpersonal challenges to engaging clients in mandated treatment

Guest speakers

Paul Warren

Paul Warren, LMSW

Paul is a Research Project Director at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and a Senior Staff Trainer and Curriculum Writer at the Northeast and Caribbean — Addiction Technology Transfer Center (NeC-ATTC). In 2017, he co-developed the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Training and Practice Implementation Institute. Paul began his social services career providing direct services to people living with HIV/AIDS, 1991–2003 and served as a Clinical Supervisor. Paul graduated from Hunter College School of Social Work, specializing in group work. He is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), serves as the Chair of the MINT Endorsed TNT Committee, and is also a committee member of the Professional Development Committee and MINT (+) Plus Committee.

Karen Gautney

Karen Gautney, MS criminal justice corrections, MS marriage & family therapy

Karen has a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Rhode Island and in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. Early in her career, she served as a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), where she specialized in homicide and sex crime investigations and was a firearms and tactical instructor. Later, she was deputy executive director of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, where she managed the ethics adjudication and professional development programs. More recently, Karen delivered risk reduction treatment in Vermont to incarcerated persons and persons on probation and parole. She is now a semi-retired consultant who has provided training and coaching to providers of corrections services across the country. She also serves on the board of a regional restorative justice center and participates in reparative panels and reentry support groups. A long-time student of Motivational Interviewing, Karen became a member of MINT in 2022.