Getting individuals to grasp new concepts can take a lot of finesse. The goal of motivational interviewing is to move someone from one way of thinking or doing something into a new direction.
Change is usually not easy for anyone. Motivational interviewing for addiction treatment is an excellent way to bring about change for someone. You cannot just tell someone something they need to know. You need to create an environment that helps them come to new ways of thinking by facilitating thought processes that bring them to revelation.
An addicted individual needs a safe place for discovery.
Empathy and understanding are key elements to building a relationship that creates that safe place. Collaboration with the individual is essential. When one can take the stance of “I am on your side” and “we are in this together,” you can break down the walls and barriers of the addicted individual.
Another beneficial technique in motivational interviewing is evoking a response through open-ended questions. The goal is to help the individual discover ways to change on their own.
Affirmations are also important as decisions made during addicted behaviors can be shameful. When an individual is not threatened by the judgment of the past, it is possible to see a new and hopeful future.
So, what is motivational interviewing for addiction treatment?
The therapist is going to use these and many other techniques to begin to change the talk with the individual. In building this collaborative relationship where no judgment is present, the individual will begin to discuss a change in their behaviors. In the initial stages, this may only mean talking about it or preparing for it,but it will lead to actually implementing change. They will put plans of action into place.
Motivational interviewing for addiction treatment can be a very effective way for a therapist to interface with their client. It not only builds trust, it allows the addicted individual to journey through ownership and see hope for a new way of life.
Eric Patterson, MSCP, NCC, LPC, Motivational Interviewing. Retrieved April, 2017.