Motivational Interviewing

This effective evidence-based individual therapy style can help people deal with their ambivalence to change.

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What is Motivational Interviewing?

In an addiction treatment setting, Motivational Interviewing is a therapeutic technique designed to help people make changes in their lives. This type of therapy is an evidence-based treatment that addresses ambivalence to change. It emphasizes using a directive, patient-centered style of interaction to promote behavioral change.

How Motivational Interviewing Works

Express Empathy For The Client

Collaborate With The Client

Avoid Direct Confrontation

Roll With Client Resistance

Support The Client’s Self-Efficacy

Concepts of Motivational Interviewing

Collaboration

Collaboration is a partnership that is formed between the person in treatment and their therapist. The partnership is based on the point of view and experiences of the person with the addiction. This collaboration allows a rapport to be built between the person in treatment for addiction and the therapist. This method is different than other approaches, which are based on the therapist confronting the person with the addiction and imposing their point of view about the person’s addictive behavior.

This method does not imply that the therapist agrees with the person’s addictive behavior. While the person with the addiction and the therapist may have a different point of view on the behavior, the therapy is focused on mutual understanding and not on the therapist “being right”.

 

Drawing Out Ideas

This concept is based on the belief that motivation to change comes from the person with the addiction and not from a therapist. For behavior to change long term, the individual must want to make that change. It is the goal of the therapist to “draw out” the person’s desire for change, not to impose the idea that they should change.

 

Autonomy

Motivational Interviewing recognizes that the true power for making changes exists within the person in treatment. It is up to the individual to make, and live with, the changes. When the therapist asserts authority over the person in treatment, they attempt to force their will onto that person by making the person feel they do not have a choice. In Motivational Interviewing Therapy, the client has autonomy. This empowers the individual and gives them power over their choices and responsibility for their actions.

 

How Motivational Interviewing Inspires Change

 

People with addictions and co-occurring disorders are often reluctant seek treatment. Many believe they will be judged for their behavior. Rather than judging the person with the addiction, the therapist focuses on understanding the addicted person’s situation and point of view. The therapist uses empathy during therapy sessions to create an environment of acceptance.

Motivational Interviewing helps people to make up their minds about how to move past addictive behaviors by helping the individual to look at the positive and negative consequences of their choices and actions. Without the therapist asserting their point of view on the addicted person, goals and actions are developed that are based on the individual’s needs, goals, values, and strengths.

Behavioral changes do not always happen easily or just because the individual desires it. Motivational Interviewing recognizes that. It is natural for the person to change their mind many times about whether they want to give up their addiction. Many times, the person with the addiction does not process what the future would be like without using drugs or drinking to excess.

The goal of Motivational Interviewing is to help the person with an addiction reach a new understanding of themselves and what their addiction means to them. In the end, hopefully by guiding the addicted person through their thoughts, emotions, and goals, they find the desire to make real, permanent changes to their behavior.

Is Residential Treatment Right For You?

Learn About Our Program Learn More

Get Help Now

An Addiction Specialist Is Available To Discuss Treatment Options That Are Right For You. (833) 440-8647

Verify Your Health Insurance Benefits

Expedite Admission To Our Facility By Verifying Your Insurance Benefits. Verify Now