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Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse

It’s common for a person to not realize they are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Or maybe they’re aware, but aren’t aware of the severity of the problem. It’s also common for some people to want to seek recovery from drugs and alcohol, and for others to not want to change. 

Regardless of whether you feel recovery is impossible or possible, at Laguna View Detox we’re here to tell you recovery is indeed possible for all. Motivational interviewing is one of the many addiction treatment techniques we utilize at our facility. Alcohol and drugs interfere with the health and thought patterns of addicts. Substance abuse can also impact an addict’s ability to see things and understand their purpose clearly.

As a result, family members often find themselves arguing with loved ones who aren’t able to acknowledge their addiction. There are certain cases where if an addict feels too pressured to change, they may not want to pursue sobriety. With motivational interviewing for substance abuse, the focus is on supporting addicts to examine their behavior rather than changing it immediately.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is a counseling strategy that motivates clients to seek addiction treatment. Although it doesn’t focus on the causes of drug abuse or alcohol addiction, it’s usually used to support other treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy.

How Is Motivational Interviewing Used in Addiction Treatment?

Motivational interviewing can cause change in addicts who feel reluctant to seek help. Now how is it applied in addiction treatment? It is applied through four, client-centered processes.  

Dr. Miller and Rollnick formulated these processes to assist addicts in knowing their goals so that they can start working towards achieving them. They include:

  • Engaging

Developing a strong and reliable relationship with an addict is imperative to work towards their self-realized goals. This alliance is strengthened through respect and centered on the addict’s strengths. 

  • Focus

In this phase, the therapist helps the addict determine what they would like to achieve during and after treatment. Knowing this vital detail will help the therapist create sessions that suit the addict and help him or her find the will to change.

  • Evoking

The evoking phase of motivational interviewing for substance abuse involves discovering the addict’s drive for change. After knowing their focus, the therapist will discuss the reasons they want to recover.

During this stage, the treatment professional stresses the need for change and increases the confidence that change does occur.

  • Planning

This phase is the most important since it helps foster long-term recovery.

The planning process involves building the knowledge and skills so that addicts can prepare for the journey ahead.

During this phase, the therapist will use his or her knowledge to offer guidance and coping techniques without imposing and pulling down the addict’s sense of empowerment. This helps the addict develop a plan that they trust and feel driven to stick with.

Motivational Interviewing Substance Abuse Techniques

Motivational interviewing substance abuse techniques are founded on client-centered counseling strategies. The techniques are as follows:

  • Ask open-ended questions

These kinds of questions allow for two-way communication to discourage addicts from giving single-phase or word answers. The questions make the addict talk and help the treatment specialist to avoid uttering judging statements.

Examples include:

  • What do you think about getting clean?
  • Why do you feel you need to stop using or drinking?
  • What interests you about doing drugs or drinking?
  • What worries you about alcohol addiction?
  • Listening

When an addict talks, the treatment specialist listens attentively and makes reflective responses that make them (the addict) feel that the therapist understood them. The reflective statements also evoke responses from the addict.

  • Affirming

A substance abuse treatment specialist can also affirm an addict’s challenges to prove that they understand the addict’s perspective. Affirming correctly and at the appropriate time, increases trust and helps the addict believe in his or her strength to change. 

  • Summarizing

A therapist summarizes previous conversations at the start or end of a session to ensure they (the addicts) understand any inconsistencies.

  • Evoking self-motivating statements

During every session, therapists evoke self-motivational statements, letting addicts understand that life can get better without drugs or alcohol. Therapists can elicit these statements through reflective responses, asserting statements, and nonverbal signals.

Find a Treatment Center That Uses Motivational Interviewing

Laguna View Detox understands the value of applying motivational interviewing substance abuse techniques. And we use this therapy method to motivate addicts to go for treatment.  

In addition to motivational interviewing for substance abuse, our treatment center offers adventure therapy, detoxification, relapse prevention, sober outings, SMART Recovery, and so much more.

Contact us now to begin your journey to lasting recovery.

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