Often, whether an individual is struggling with substance abuse or a mental health issue, finding the necessary willpower or motivation to make the right choices can be a challenge. Frequently, individuals find they lack the mental or emotional skills to keep themselves motivated to achieve their goals on their own. Thus, one way to develop, improve, and focus this skill is by finding professional help through motivational interviewing. But what is motivational interviewing? At Integrative Life Center, our clinicians use motivational interviewing for addiction treatment to help clients find motivation and move in a positive direction by setting and accomplishing goals, instead of getting stuck and disabled by their indecision.
What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational interviewing is a counseling method that helps people resolve uncertain feelings, thoughts, and insecurities to find motivation from inside themselves that they need to change their behavior. It is a real-world, compassionate, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes. Motivational interviewing is often used to address addiction, and it can be used for the management of physical health as well. This intervention helps people become motivated to change the behaviors that are preventing them from making healthier choices. It can also prepare individuals for further, more specific types of therapies. This style of treatment works best for patients who are less motivated to change, to begin with, those who already want to change have less of a need for this form of treatment.
Our trained staff uses motivational interviewing to encourage patients to talk about their need for a change and about their reasons for that change. The interviewer is there to spark a conversation about change and the way to make that change happen. Motivational interviewing is commonly a short-term form of treatment, with one or two sessions, although it can be used in long-term treatment as well. The role of the therapist is more about listening than intervening. It is a two-step process, step one is to motivate the patient to change, and step two is getting the patient to commit to change.
Five Principles of Motivational Interviewing
Motivational interviewing therapy is a very useful tool in treating mental health issues but also in helping individuals struggling with substance use disorder to recover. It allows patients to motivate themselves through reflection. By reflecting on what is wanted in their life (i.e., goals), on what is and is not going well for them, and creating practical ways to implement change, patients can overcome their issues. This process is guided by five principles a therapist or counselor use to help guide patients through the process:
- Express and show empathy toward clients
- Support and develop discrepancy
- Deal with resistance
- Support self-efficacy
These five principles help guide patients as they commit to their mental health. Motivational interviewing gives patients the ability to recognize and confront their issues in a controlled and safe environment where judgment is reserved. Rather, the patient’s counselor or therapist encourages them to come up with realistic ways to reach their goals. Because the focus is on establishing obtainable goals, and because it also is designed to result in committing to those goals, it is an extremely useful tool for helping patients change their lives. Asserting and developing control over one’s behavior and action is at the core of motivational interviewing.
Integrative Life Center
By using several therapies and treatments, the counselors and therapists at Integrative Life Center can address the specific needs of each patient. Whether it’s substance use disorder, mental health issues such as depression, or behavioral issues like gambling or disordered eating, we have the array of therapeutic services to help individuals heal and recover. Motivational interviewing is one such service patients can take advantage of in any of our following programs:
- Residential treatment
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
So reach out to us today to begin your healing process by calling 615.455.3903.