What Is Motivational Interviewing?

What Is Motivational Interviewing?Motivational Interviewing (MI) is designed to improve rehabilitation outcomes for addiction treatment. It is defined by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Department of Service for Results as a, “person centered communication method of fostering change by helping a person explore and resolve ambivalence. Rather than pressure, MI looks for ways to access internal motivation for change.” MI was developed by therapists as an alternate counseling approach for addiction treatment. The therapy focuses on brief introductory conversations that lead to lengthy discussions that promote change from within.

How Does Motivational Interviewing Work?

Motivational Interviewing focuses on optimism, respect, benefits of change and empathy. NIC argues that with encouragement a California resident is more likely to approach change and rehabilitation with an open mind instead of viewing it as a battle to be fought.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supports MI as a collaborative effort between the patient, counselor and family. Constant encouragement and empathy lessen feelings of distrust, confrontation and resistance which can block the effectiveness of addiction treatment and rehabilitation therapy.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administrations’s (SAMHSA) approach to Motivational Interviewing focuses on a step-by-step process. The following strategies are listed as successfully applied to treatment conditions:

  • Determine the person’s understanding of their addiction
  • Explore the basis of their understanding
  • Determine the person’s desire for treatment and rehabilitation
  • Promote attendance at counseling and therapy sessions
  • Promote possibilities of success, change and rehabilitation

This process is designed to lead to positive treatment outcomes that promote understanding of the addiction and the higher goals of rehabilitation.

How Can Motivational Interviewing Assist Addiction Treatment?

Motivational Interviewing improves treatment outcomes by encouraging understanding and empathy between all parties involved. Both SAMHSA and the NIC put forth research that shows that MI and the steps that go with it including counseling, multiple sessions, interventions and positive reinforcement create conditions for change. MI may also be used in conjunction with or as part of inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation and addiction treatment services.

Addiction Help for California Residents

Motivational Interviewing  and addiction recovery can only begin if you seek help. If you or someone you love is dealing with addiction, please call our 24 hour, toll-free phone number, and let us help you find the addiction treatment options that are best for you. You are not alone; call us today.

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