Motivational Interviewing Therapy, A Kind of Behavioral Therapy

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Motivational interviewing therapy is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to engender a sort of intrinsic need within the mind and heart of the person who is suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol to focus all of their efforts on changing their damaging behavioral habits and learning the kind of life skills that they will need for in order to succeed in the outside world and thrive in active recovery in Florida. It’s a therapy that is less common in residential detox centers but used in some and to good effect. This kind of therapy begins with a behavioral therapist sitting down with and interviewing the patient.

They ask about the reasons why the patient has decided to find help with the addiction that has infiltrated their lives. Why now?  What are the patient’s motivations behind working toward this goal of behavioral change in their actions. As the therapist begins to ask questions and the patient vocalises their answers, it reaffirms to the patient their own motivations and solidifies within their mind that their motivations are real and valid and that these goals of sobriety are reasonable and attainable even after they leave rehab and detox. Broward County drug rehab usually offers some form of behavioral therapy whether motivational interviewing or not, it is almost for sure that you will encounter some form or another of behavioral therapy. Motivational Interviewing, like the others have a few different steps to work through.

 

Step One

 

The first step during motivational interviewing is for the therapist. The therapist will approach their patient unconditional compassion and unwavering support. The therapist is to act as a steadying force to fight against the chaos that the patient may be experiencing in their own mind.  The therapist will be sure to treat their patient with respect and dignity in order to be sure that the patient feels cared for and above all, the therapist will be sure that the patient feels listened to and believed.

The therapist will never push back against the patient in these kinds of sessions because they are really there to offer the patient a safe place to explore and solidify their own feelings and motivations in hopes that they can set them clearly in stone. Motivational interviewing for some becomes a memory that they can go back to in their tough moments, so that they can remember their purpose and what is driving them on the road to a sober life.

Step Two

 

The next step on the short path of motivational interviewing therapy is a portion of therapy where the therapist takes the patient through their own motivations and the story of the recovering patient. This once again helps to solidify and reinforce the user’s hunger for solid change within their lives.

This reminds the patient of that hunger and makes it obvious to them again and perhaps from a different angle and sobering perspective that there is an absolute call for action within themselves, and they have to make the choice to agree to said change. Saying yes to that road to change and to that struggle with addiction recovery affirms to the patient that they are determined and strong enough to do it. Throughout this process something happens within the patient’s brain allowing their psychological needs to change and focus on recovery rather than their own destruction. This kind of therapy is a brief program by nature, however the benefits of doing the motivational interviewing therapy can last for a lifetime.  It is the type of life skills like breaking down goals into meaningful and manageable steps and finding the energy to complete each small goal leading up to the big by remembering motivation and having a focus on the reasons behind one’s goal, in this case sobriety. Mining for motivational energy that helps the patient learn how to self evaluate and can lead to sustained sobriety and success in recovery.

 

Some common reasons motivational interviewing may be utilized is because the recovering addict has

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Compulsive Gambling Addiction
  • Illicit drug abuse or chemical dependency
  • Prescription drug abuse or chemical dependency

 

The most important elements of motivational interviewing therapy:

  • The patient will be working with a therapist
  • The engendering of intrinsic self care and safeguarding against apathy. Intrinsic motivation building and using that central desire to to dedicate oneself to creating a safe and practical sobriety moving forward.
  • Autonomy is encouraged for the user in motivational interviewing therapy by making certain that the power in the conversation during therapy stays within the control of the addict themself. The recovering user is in the end the person who is responsible for laying out their own story and revealing their own motivations in the way that feels most real and true to them so that their therapist has the best chance to help them understand themselves and their addictions and motivations in a way that allows them to feel the power that they have over addiction.

 

If you’re ready to get help for yourself or a loved one, contact us today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.