Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based therapy that works to combat the natural ambivalence that goes hand in hand with dealing with the fear of change and growth.

Oftentimes, for example, someone who is dependent on substances will enter treatment with the best intentions, knowing the devastating effects of the substance that is being abused but wanting to use the substance anyway. This goes beyond physical effects.

Some individuals know that their alcohol abuse is preventing them from achieving a personal goal or is wreaking havoc in their relationships but they may find themselves insisting that the problem isn’t that big of a deal. Or they might hear themselves using the classic phrase, “I can stop any time I want to.”

Motivational interviewing helps the therapist connect with the client to show that they are supported. It’s a style of intervention that clarifies the empathy that a therapist has for their situation, while at the same time not minimizing their denial or resistance. It also helps them recognize the ambivalence for what it is and allows time to explore the origins together. This exploration provides a foundation for our clients to begin the process of change and healing.

How Does Motivational Interviewing Work?

Motivational interviewing is based on a spirit of collaboration. Our therapists engage with the clients in an empathetic manner while discussing their situation, helping them realize that change is possible. First, they help identify where the ambivalence is coming from, their personal goals, and the work that it will take to reach them.

Motivational interviewing is approached with three elements in mind:

Motivational Interviewing was first designed as an intervention therapy in treating alcoholism but has since been used for a broader range of substance abuse treatment. It’s also been found effective for treating various mental health disorders, including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
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What Is the Evidence Behind Motivational Interviewing?

Research has shown motivational interviewing to be highly effective, particularly in the treatment of drug addiction and alcohol abuse. In a clinical trial published by the National Institutes of Health, patients who received motivational interviewing had substantially higher abstinence rates. In another study of patients whose substance abuse was co-morbid with other mental illnesses, the integration of motivational interviewing as an intervention technique showed notable reduction in substance use in these patients up to a year after the treatments ended.

Motivational Interviewing at Clearview Treatment Programs

At Clearview Treatment Programs, our trained therapists can help clients effectively tackle the ambivalence that keeps them from making a complete recovery from substance abuse or mental health disorder. When appropriate, clients will participate in motivational interviewing as part of an individualized treatment plan. We utilize this approach in our treatment programs for Addiction with Co-Occurring Mental Health, Women’s Mental Health, and Outpatient Treatment.