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 and may be used in conjunction with other therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy. It emphasizes using a directive, patient-centered style of interaction to promote behavioral change.
How Motivational Interviewing Works
In order to bring about positive change, it is imperative that the therapist connects with the client and establishes collaborative trust. This is accomplished through the following stages:
- 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 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 form 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. The therapist’s goal is to “draw out” the person’s desire for change, not to impose the idea that they should change.
Motivational interviewing recognizes that the true power for making changes exists within the person in treatment. It is up to the individual to make the changes and live with them. When the therapist asserts authority over the person in treatment, they attempt to force their will onto that person by making them 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 to 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 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 quickly or simply because the individual desires them. 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. The person with the addiction often does not process what the future would be like without using drugs or drinking to excess.
Motivational interviewing aims to help the person with 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.
Reach Out to Midwest Detox Center and Make a Move Towards Recovery
At Midwest Detox Center, we are committed to proven therapeutic practices that give each individual the best chance for personal success. A life of sobriety is attainable, and we would like to help you start that journey. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to us today at 833.647.0392 or contact us online. We are happy to answer any questions about our programs or therapeutic practices as well as discuss costs and insurance verification.