In most addiction treatment programs, counseling will be a primary component. During counseling sessions, treatment professionals use different techniques to work with you and help you recover from addiction.
One of the most common and effective counseling approaches is motivational interviewing.
What Is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational interviewing is an acceptance-based counseling technique used in substance abuse treatment and other mental health programs.
This style of counseling is based on the idea that expressing acceptance of the client and acting as a helper is the best way to support clients as you work toward your own personal goals.
Counselors who use this strategy take on the role of helping you to notice the differences between your goals and current situations, allowing you to motivate yourself and make lasting changes.
Motivational Interviewing Techniques
During motivational interviewing, the counselor will seek to:
- Help you develop or realize ambivalent feelings about your substance use, as well as to understand that these feelings are normal.
- Resolve the ambivalence through careful examination of intrinsic values and motivations.
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Counselors who employ motivational interviewing techniques as a counseling style are empathetic and supportive toward you at all times, but they are also directive.
This counseling style avoids aggressive confrontations and arguments between you and the counselor, as these can make you feel more defensive and prevent you from wanting to work collaboratively toward positive changes.
How Does Motivational Interviewing Help with Substance Use Disorders?
Motivational interviewing is designed to help you realize your own desires to change your harmful behaviors.
Once you have a complete understanding of how your substance use disorder is affecting your life and how these consequences are at odds with your own goals and values, you’ll be more motivated to change.
Ideally, you’ll express the desire to change your behaviors on your own, and your counselor will support you as you move through the recovery process.
Advantages Of Motivational Interviewing For Addiction Treatment
Motivational interviewing offers several advantages that make it a better choice for people with substance use disorders. This style of counseling exposes you to high levels of compassion, support, and empathy, which can make it easier for you to work toward a positive change.
Motivational interviewing also encourages you to take responsibility for changing your behaviors and overcoming your addiction. Studies have shown that counseling is more effective and produces better outcomes when clients are actively involved in the process in this way.
What To Expect During Sessions
When you engage in motivational interviewing sessions, your counselor will spend more time listening than talking.
While the counselor listens, you’ll be encouraged to talk about:
- your struggles with substance abuse
- the way it affects your life
- how it is in opposition to your internal goals and values
The role of your counselor is primarily to respond to your statements and to guide you toward the realization of your own desires and ability to change.
Once you have expressed your desire to change your behavior, the counselor will act as a guide and a support as you come up with specific strategies you can use to improve your life and overcome addiction. The counselor will continue to support you as you work towards recovery.
How Long Does Motivational Interviewing Last?
Motivational interviewing for the purpose of addiction recovery is often a lengthy process that will require many sessions conducted over time.
While some patients may be able to stay in therapy only until they have realized their desire and ability to change, others will need continued support from the motivational interviewer as they recover and develop coping skills.
Your counselor will work with you to decide how long you should remain in therapy and will release you when you’re ready to continue your recovery without the counselor’s assistance.
Can Motivational Interviewing Be Combined with Other Treatments?
Motivational interviewing can be used in combination with other methods of treatment to improve outcomes. In fact, if you choose an inpatient treatment program at The Bluffs, other treatment methods will always be a part of your schedule.
Other treatment methods offered at The Bluffs include recreation, educational activities, peer support activities, and alternative therapies like music therapy. Your treatment plan will be customized to meet your individual needs as a patient.
Motivational Interviewing At The Bluffs
If you’re struggling with addiction and are interested in motivational interviewing or our other available behavioral therapies, a program at The Bluffs can help.
We understand that every patient is different, and we will work closely with you to design the ideal treatment plan that includes motivational interviewing and/or other effective therapies.
Please contact us today to learn more.
- Treatment Improvement Protocols — Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment