Motivational interviewing is a type of one-on-one therapy where the therapist act as a teacher for their client. They guide the patient from one thought process to another without imposing direction or judgment on the patient. Motivational interviewing therapy is an evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and other conditions. Changes in behavior help to fix the problem at hand. Pairing it with other addiction therapy services can create an effective treatment.

The Basis of Motivational Interviewing

motivational interviewing therapy taking place in a group settingMotivational interviewing is a method created that is great at dealing with patient’s clashing thoughts. Substance abusers tend to come to treatment looking to find a solution. However, they do not want to give you their substance of choice or something that it does for them. They, on the one hand, see that it is causing problems. On the other hand, they are unable to see how they will survive without it. These conflicting ideas yield internal ambivalence to the ideas of getting and staying sober.

In motivational interviewing the job of the therapist is to:

  • Accept the patient’s ambivalence
  • Realize that ambivalence can occur by focusing on the patient’s intrinsic values, for most patients
  • Work with the patient collaboratively as experts at what you do, motivational interviewing – therapist, and self – patient
  • Provide supportive conditions under which change can occur

The technique works in a talk therapy one-on-one setting between the therapist and the patient and has similarities to acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The patient and the therapist work out what the patient’s long term goals are, how their substance abuse affects their lives now, and how it could change their lives in the future. The therapist takes the patient through a discovery process about how substance abuse does not help the patient achieve their goals.

Yes, patients are already aware of this fact, but they will minimize the problem and be unwilling to let the substance abuse go for many reasons. The thinking here is that the patient could have and know 101 reasons that they abuse substances, but nothing will help them to solve the problem unless they can come to the realization themselves that using substances is not working for them.

Implementing Motivational Interviewing Therapy

Motivational interviewing can help to bring substance abusers to the point of seeing the problem with their behavior and doing something about it before they hit their “rock bottom.” Rock bottom is a term used for drug and alcohol users that use far beyond the point of reason and have destroyed their entire lives due to using.

In short, a person typically hits rock bottom when they lose everything that was ever important to them. Once they hit this point, something inside of them seems to wake up and realize that the need to stop abusing substances is there.

Interventions are usually done on abusers when things are starting to get bad by friends and family that want to force the person to do as the others see right. This often pushes a user further away because, how can something that they do to survive cause such problems with everyone else. The point is that the need to survive is so strong that changing the behaviors it takes to survive through gentle coaxing is the only way to solve the problem for many people.

What to Expect at a Rehab Offering Motivational Interview Techniques

In motivational interviewing therapy, you should expect to:

  • Be assigned a therapist that you will form a bond with
  • Spend a lot of time initially with this person
  • Feel fully heard
  • Talk about anything on your mind
  • Express doubts about your success in getting sober
  • Establish your values
  • Reassign your value and action systems

Motivational Interviewing Therapy at Gateway Foundation Gurnee 

The most crucial piece here should be the connection that you have with the therapist. The better the relationship, the more successful you will be. Gateway Foundation Gurnee has many qualified therapists for you to choose from, including a few specializing in motivational interviewing. Contact Gateway Foundation Gurnee today at [Direct] to find out more about our addiction treatment programs.