Motivational Interviewing for Addiction


Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a sort of brief intervention for addiction. It essentially focuses on the principal of motivation.

More than a few individuals who struggle with addiction issues lack the inspiration to become sober. Indeed, the shortage of motivation is one in all the most important obstacles towards obtaining sobriety.

MI purposely aims to correct this. It utilises calming approaches to prolong a recovering person’s motivations. This method also uses these incentives to motivate people a sense of change.

MI is different from therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Sessions have a tendency to to be shorter, and also the purposes tend to be smaller.

We explore this important therapy for addiction, which has a lot to offer.


What exactly is Motivational Interviewing?

MI found its origins as a therapeutic method for people who struggle with drug addiction. It had made way towards an alternate to common therapies like CBT. The aim was to assist people in solving problems for themselves, instead of solving problems for them.

One aspect that makes MI unlike from other methods of therapy, is in the way it is presented. While other therapies have a tendency to to be delivered over the course of months, MI is usually subjected to a handful of sessions. These sessions are referred to as interviews.

One more factor which is interesting about MI’s uniqueness, is that it is non-confrontational. In other words, the consulting therapist refrains from passing judgment based on what the recovering person says. The essence of MI is therefore one in all collaboration.

One final point about MI is that it tends to target the patients’ aspirations. Other types of therapy may impose goals on the patient. MI takes a more patient-centred approach. The concept behind this can be that patients are more motivated if they are able to set their own goals.

MI does not target past trauma or root causes of addiction. It tends to lean more towards the way forward.


The Assumptions Behind Motivational Interviewing

One of the biggest focus points of Motivational Interviewing is to ‘overcome ambivalence’. Ambivalence can be defined as being in two minds about something such as drug addiction.

Every so often those with drug abuse problems will realise, on some level, that their addiction is harmful to them. Nevertheless, they tend to not have completely acknowledged this fact. It could be be useful for them to refute it to themselves. MI attempts to assist people get through this ambivalence.

There tend to be quite a few misapprehensions about addiction recovery as well as the relationships between patients and therapists. Let us look at a few:

Ambivalence is Normal

Many people with drug addiction difficulties feel ambivalent towards their addiction.
Getting to the core of a person’s ideals and motivations can help them overcome ambivalence. This may result in change.

The Therapist and Client Are a Team

They work together to overcome problems. By means of collaborating, the therapist can assist the client to alter their ways.

Understanding these assumptions is essential to understanding MI. it’s all about helping the client to assist themselves.

The Principles of Motivational Interviewing

There are a few essential principles of MI that should be attended to by therapists during treatment;

  • Use thoughtful attending to show empathy.
  • Try to emphasise on any gaps between a clients’ ambitions and their current lifestyle
  • Therapists should do their best to circumvent conflict and hostility
  • Do not directly contradict a patient after they show reluctance to change their ways. Try and go along with it instead.
  • Assist the client to acquire control of their own lives. If they express a desire to better themselves, it should be supported.

It is imperative to notice that MI encourages honesty.

Honest discussions are the most helpful aspect towards successful therapy. Refraining from judgement, or keeping it to a minimum, helps foster honesty.

Furthermore, while a therapist does not criticise their client, they should try to bridge any gaps between the patients’ ambitions and their present state. This can be a subtle way to motivate the need to change their destructive ways.

Lastly, MI treats resistance as normal behaviour. It should simply be taken as evidence that this approach desires some adjusting.

When is Motivational Interviewing most effective?

Motivational Interviewing is an efficient method of treatment for several drug abuse disorders. It has been proven to be especially effective with alcohol-dependent people. This might be explained in some ways.

The most common reasoning is that alcohol is the most socially suitable drug. Additionally, it is also the foremost widely available. Thus, it would be likely that folks who are form an addiction to alcohol might feel ambivalent about their drinking.

They are possibly more likely to express ambivalence in comparison to heroin users. Since MI aims to beat ambivalence, heavy drinkers may benefit more from this treatment than those addicted to other substances.

It is vital to notice that MI is now utilised in a spread of frameworks. This goes beyond substance use disorders. It includes gambling addictions, gaming addictions, eating disorders and many others.

A major benefiting factor of Motivational Interviewing is that it differs from the more orthodox talking therapies. This might allow it to assist patients who have found limited success with CBT, DBT and the likes.

For someone who has tried talking therapy, and has relapsed repeatedly, MI may be just what they require. It stresses the necessity for a relationship between client and therapist. It also focuses on the client’s own goals, rather than goals that they may not have chosen. These two factors can appeal to some clients.

Motivational Interviewing at the Providence Projects

Our team of experienced addiction counsellors will incorporate MI into your rehab timetable as part of an holistic treatment programme. We use motivational interviewing to treat all forms of addiction including:

Speak to our addiction counsellors today to learn more about the treatment process, our lines are open 24/7.

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