Page title background

Motivational Interviewing

Table of Content

Table of Content

Therapist listening to his patient

Addiction isn’t a choice. Despite that fact, recovery will ultimately be more successful when patients receive motivation and inspiration to make positive and lasting changes. That’s where Motivational Interviewing comes in. Take a closer look at the role of Motivational Interviewing substance abuse therapies, the right candidates for the strategy, what it aims to achieve and how it fits into an extensive recovery plan.

Man talking to a counselor

What is Motivational Interviewing?

There are two types of patients who enroll in rehab and recovery programs. The first group wants to be there and is motivated and ready to make positive changes. The other group is less committed to the process. Motivational Interviewing substance abuse therapy is helpful for all types of patients, but it is especially beneficial for those who aren’t 100 percent onboard with the recovery process.

First, this approach is engaging. It seeks to get the patient directly involved in his or her own recovery. It also tries to focus patients on the specifics of their future. Motivational Interviewing might require patients to think about the negatives of substance abuse as well as how those negatives impact their career, health, and relationships.

Finding New Positives in Sober Living

There are many different reasons why prospective patients don’t want to fully commit to the rehab process. Sometimes, patients don’t want to give up the positives they still attribute to substance abuse. In other cases, patients only equate sober living with negatives or boredom. Motivational Interviewing substance abuse treatment debunks both lines of thought.

During Motivational Interviewing, or MI, patients are asked to find the positives of sobriety. For example, a patient might think about the financial benefits of breaking free from addiction. Being sober means being able to hold down a job, and it also means spending less on drugs or alcohol. That, in turn, might mean patients don’t have to ask family for money, and they can have the cash for travel, a home deposit or a new wardrobe.

patients might also focus on the positive changes that sobriety can bring to relationships. Sobriety might mean that patients can rekindle relationships with old friends or spend more time with their children. By focusing on these positive developments, patients will be more motivated to commit to their own recovery.

Ambivalence as the Opposite of Progress

patients can check into Residential Treatment centers and make progress even if they aren’t 100 percent ready to make changes. Over time, it is possible to become increasingly focused and eager to improve your health. However, ambivalence can be an obstacle. In many ways, it is the opposite of positive forward progress.

If patients are just coasting through rehab, they can still gain many benefits. To maximize recovery, however, and to learn and absorb as much as possible, a positive outlook is helpful. With Motivational Interviewing, patients will be forced out of ambivalence. Making a plan, and getting motivated to move forward, is the best way to approach lasting and lifelong recovery.

Woman and therapist having a conversation

Practical Planning for the Future

Motivational Interviewing substance abuse therapy is not a vague, generalized form of treatment. It is all about specifics, and it encourages patients to plan for the future. If patients want to make a change, then MI asks them to determine how to make that happen.

For example, a patient might say they want to rejoin the workforce after rehab. In MI, that patient might create a timeline, email an old boss for a reference and update their resume. Concrete steps are highly desirable, and they can pave the way for tangible and immediate changes.

blue banner

Comprehensive Treatment at Gateway

Motivational Interviewing is one of the most effective therapies for patients who need to take control over their lives and their recovery. At Gateway, MI is just one of many therapies that can make a difference. Other proven therapies on the road to recovery include:

Our Blog

Latest from Gateway Foundation

Explore the latest news and resources from Gateway’s thought leaders, clinicians and alumni.

blue banner

Motivational Interviewing is Just One Tool Among Many Available at Gateway

patients can expect comprehensive support, evidence-based recovery and access to a full continuum of care. To take the next step toward the life of sobriety you deserve, call us at 877–377–2027 or contact us online.