Most addiction treatment programs last between 30 and 90 days, and many facilities utilize motivational interviewing during treatment. Motivational interviewing for substance abuse uses four different types of treatment sessions. Each of the four stages of motivational interviewing treatment, often referred to as a treatment phase, addresses specific aspects of the motivational counseling process.
Motivational enhancement techniques are beneficial for addiction, behavioral disorders, and co-occurring (dual diagnosis) conditions. Dual diagnoses are prevalent among those seeking help at an addiction or mental health treatment program. Co-occurring disorders occur when someone has both an addiction and a mental health condition. Motivational enhancement interviewing can help address a range of behavioral addictions and mental health treatment needs, such as: 2
As noted above, motivational interviewing therapy is a very limited therapy model. Although treatment may last up to six sessions in some instances, most motivational therapy programs only last for four sessions. 3
There are five key motivational interviewing concepts included as part of motivational interviewing strategies. During the four motivational counseling sessions, a provider trained in motivational enhancement therapy for substance abuse may focus on any or several of the below principles.
The first therapy session focuses on the assessment. Completing the assessment should help the individual view their behaviors in a different light. The first session also focuses on addressing and exploring concerns about particular issues, concerns, or experiences. A MET therapist may suggest ways to evaluate how the problem behavior may interfere with achieving long and short-term goals.
Treatment options as a part of motivational enhancement therapy are based on information collected from the individual rather than “prescribed” recommendations from a provider. The therapist will work with the individual to create an action plan that outlines their desired changes, why they want to change, and what steps they will take to achieve their change goals.
MET differs from other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, in that it supports personal choice and control. It is designed to be non-judgmental and non-confrontational. As such, traditional diagnostic labels are not used. The provider assumes the individual has the capacity and resources to make a change, so rather than teaching skills and tools, they focus on helping the individual utilize the tools they already have to take positive steps forward.
Motivational enhancement therapy incorporates motivational interviewing and the stages of change model used in treatment for substance abuse and other behavioral addictions. Applying the stages of change is an ideal way to visualize the treatment steps and find the motivation to seek treatment. The stages of change model created by DiClemente and Prochaska in the 1970s has six steps. 4
Motivational interviewing counselors meet the client where they are in their recovery journey. The purpose of motivational interviewing is to assist those seeking recovery as they move through each stage of change; these stages will be detailed below.5
Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggest that motivational counseling has several benefits. Motivational enhancement techniques can help someone in recovery from addiction overcome their unwillingness or lack of concern about entering treatment and starting their recovery journey, among various other benefits. These can include: 6
Another benefit of motivational interviewing is its focus on personal choice. Rather than providing direction, therapy to increase motivation emphasizes partnership and collaboration between therapist and patient.
Motivational enhancement therapy is often incorporated into a comprehensive addiction treatment program that uses other therapy models as well. Depending on one’s treatment needs and goals, therapy models used may consist of behavioral therapies, group, and individual sessions.
If you or a loved one live with drug or alcohol addiction and are ready to take the first steps towards recovery, we can help. At Soledad House, we offer a safe space for women to grow and heal. To learn more about our programs and the benefits of motivational enhancement therapy for addiction, contact us at Soledad House today.