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Motivational Interviewing

Steps Recovery Center recognizes how vital the mind, body, and spirit are in their connection to the whole person. We take a holistic approach to treating those with substance abuse and relatable disorders that may contribute to their substance abuse; this includes treating the whole person, and find that it tends to be more successful, especially since addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life. With a customized and individualized program, a holistic approach just makes sense. It affords an opportunity to meet the patient’s physical and psychological needs and allows them to engage physically, emotionally, and mentally. When you seek help for yourself or a loved one with long-term drug or alcohol abuse, there are several methods of treatment. Aside from the basics of detox, residential rehab, individual counseling, and group therapy, behavioral therapies are most successful for lasting recovery. Some of these therapies include CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy,) and motivational interviewing.
What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational interviewing is therapy focused on helping you make the right decisions toward set goals. For those in rehab or thinking about it, implementing this method, along with other proven methods, is a great way to move forward with your life. Motivational interviewing helps people with mental illnesses that coexist with substance abuse, including anxiety, depression, and gambling problems. In a recovery center, a therapist works with you to boost your progress and helps you to make changes on your terms, instead of feeling pressured. Throughout the process, you can explore how you feel about changes in your life. Your therapist is there to support you while you make choices and decisions that will benefit your life. This treatment protocol provides a life coach, if you will, who you can trust and who will listen to you. When you have someone that cares and is cheering you on toward your goals, it’s easier to push toward them.
Characteristics of Motivational interviewing
This treatment method relies upon identifying and mobilizing the client’s intrinsic values and goals to help stimulate behavioral change. It’s designed to elicit change and help the client with motivating their life toward accomplishing their goals and sticking to their values. If there’s resistance and denial, it just means the method needs to be modified since every person is different and reacts differently to various methods. The National Institutes of Health recognizes motivational interviewing, which is based on five principles:
  • Expressing empathy through reflective listening:
 – Listens rather than tells  – Communicates respect for and acceptance of clients and their feelings –  Provides support throughout the recovery process –  Allows therapists to be a supportive and knowledgeable consultant –  Gently persuades but never forces –  Sincerely compliments rather than denigrates –  Encourages a nonjudgmental, collaborative relationship
  • Develop discrepancy between client’s goals or values and their current behavior:
 – Develop awareness of consequences, which helps clients examine their behavior  – The gap between present behavior and essential goals that motivates change  – The client presents the arguments for change
  • Avoid argument and confrontation:
– Defending breeds defensiveness  – Labeling is unnecessary  – Arguments are counterproductive  – Resistance is a signal to change strategies
  • Adjust to rather than oppose resistance: 
 – Perceptions can be shifted  – Momentum can be used to good advantage  – The client is a valuable resource for finding solutions to their problems  – New perspectives are invited but not imposed
  • Support self-efficacy and optimism:
– There is hope in the range of alternative approaches available – Belief in the possibility of change is an important motivator – The client is responsible for choosing and carrying out personal change
Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing
The National Institute of Health conducted three published meta-analyses of motivational interviewing. They found that it’s 10 percent to 20 percent more effective than no treatment, and is usually equal to other viable treatments for various problems. (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs) It’s most effective for stopping or preventing unhealthy behaviors like binge drinking, decreasing the amount and frequency of drinking, smoking, and substance abuse. The British Journal of General Practice found that motivational interviewing outperformed traditional advice in a broad range of behavioral problems and diseases. They discovered that psychologists and physicians obtained an effect in approximately 80 percent of the studies for physiological and psychological (75%) diseases. Motivational interviewing is an effective treatment for clients in recovery centers and outperforms that of traditional methods when executed properly.