Motivational Interviewing: A growing trend among the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.

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Posted: March 27, 2015

A relatively new treatment strategy that is gaining more attention among the addiction community is motivational interviewing. Often combined with behavioral treatments (like CBT) motivational interviewing was originally developed by Miller and Rollnick who defined it as “ a client- centered, directive approach designed to enhance intrinsic motivation for change through understanding and resolving ambivalence about change.” This definition is basically saying that the counselor emphasizes the addict’s role in being his or her own advocate for change. This type of therapy was originally designed as a brief intervention for problem drinking but more recently has been applied to several other avenues of addiction including drug abuse and various mental disorders. When using motivational interviewing the counselor strives to understand the client’s point of view which is key in therapy for recovering addicts. Often times this is why counselors who lead group therapy are recovering from addiction themselves.

Motivational interviewing aims to show the individual in recovery that they have the strengths and abilities within themselves to get and remain clean. Teaching self-motivation and self-esteem is key in this approach to treatment. The key to this treatment is training the brain to motivate proactive behavior rather than slipping back into their previous behavior that lead them to use and to become . After showing the recovering addict the skills they have within themselves to aide in their sobriety, the second step of motivational interviewing is to help implement a plan of change. Discussing and implementing a plan after recovery is important because after providing the motivation for change and showing the client they have the ability to do so, a plan of action is necessary to being a new way of life. Motivational interviewing focuses on changing the cognitive thought process that will in turn effect behavior, but laying out a clear plan of action to follow after treatment makes this process all the more easy to follow. Recovering from addiction is in no way, shape, or form easy, but it is worth taking a look into what treatments have the most success; and motivational interviewing is on the rise.

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