Motivational Interviewing | Medical Resources & Addiction Treatment

Motivational Interviewing

WRITTEN BY SONIA BLUMBERG – JANUARY 16th, 2021

Motivational Interviewing is a type of counseling style that professional substance abuse counselors use to meet the client where they are at. This counseling style allows the individual to express how they feel about their drug or alcohol use and not be judged. The premise of Motivational Interviewing is to establish confidence in the client so that they will be encouraged to continue seeking help from the therapist or treatment center.

For example, when most people first realize they have problems with their drug or alcohol intake, they are not likely to be ready to admit that they need to quit for good. Motivational Interviewing guides the client towards safer choices that they declare are best for them. It is a non-judgmental style of therapy.  

Motivational Interviewing for Treating Addiction

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What is Motivational Interviewing (MI)

The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances in science and health explain how effective Motivational Interviewing is for people who struggle with substance use disorder, also known as addiction. A counselor’s goals when working with an individual to help them understand that their drug or alcohol use (in most cases) is dangerous and that it will progress negatively rests on five therapeutic assumptions.

The strategies of Motivational Interviewing are more persuasive than coercive, more supportive than argumentative. The motivational interviewer must proceed with a strong sense of purpose, clear strategies and skills for pursuing that purpose, and a sense of timing to intervene in particular ways at incisive moments. The clinician practices Motivational Interviewing with five general principles in mind:

The Benefits of Motivational Interviewing Include:

How Does Motivational Interviewing Help Those Recovering from Addiction?

People who struggle with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both may have already admitted that they need help to stop drugging or drinking. This is always a strong indicator that they are willing to work on how to change. However, the diseases of addiction and alcoholism are very complex, and most people with these conditions are challenged actually to give up their drugs or drinking. Motivational Interviewing supports the newly recovering addict or alcoholic by encouraging them to be open about what they believe needs to occur to help them or if they still think they can drink in moderation or quit drugs all by themselves. 

Motivational Interviewing is a gradual counseling process that is goal-oriented and focuses on strengthening the individuals’ personal motivation to a specific goal by positively acknowledging the person’s own reasons for change through acceptance and compassion. Non- aggressive styles of counseling have been proven to prompt people with addiction to recognize that their lifestyles are harming them or their loved ones. Until a person realizes that they are addicted to substances and that the habit dominates all of their decisions and behaviors, they cannot wholeheartedly be willing to do whatever it takes to remain clean and sober.

Where Can I Find a Rehab That Provides Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing is now becoming standard practice in many community treatment centers and privately funded treatment programs. MI is considered an evidence-based type of addiction treatment. Government agencies and substance abuse research funds many programs that provide MI. The centers we connect the public with on our website offer Motivational Interviewing style of counseling. MI is also proven to be most effective for young adults who are just beginning to abuse drugs or alcohol. Younger generations are not as willing to let go of their drug use and party lifestyle, as this is easy to understand.

The treatment centers we endorse offer Motivational Interviewing for patients who struggle with an addiction to the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Heroin
  • Prescription pain killers
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Cocaine
  • Crack-cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy, Molly, LSD, and other hallucinogens

Th programs that are offered which provide Motivational Interviewing at their treatment center have substance-specific programs available for men, women, and young adults. To locate a treatment center that relies on Motivational Interviewing, connect with one of our expert drug rehab locators, or contact the treatment centers directly highlighted on our website.

Medically Reviewed
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Michael Kulick

Medical Reviewer
M.S.W., MCAP, RCSWI

Michael was born and raised in South Florida, where he completed his undergraduate and graduate education at FAU and Barry University, culminating in a Master’s Degree in Social Work, with Honors. Since accomplishing his academic goals, Michael has held a variety of clinical and administrative positions ranging from Primary Clinical Therapist, Clinical Coordinator, Program Director, Clinical Director, Director of Operations and Chief Executive Officer.

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