Motivational Interviewing (MI) At Bedrock Recovery Center

Many people experiencing addiction or mental illness lack the motivation to change unhealthy behaviors. As part of a personalized treatment plan at BRC, motivational interviewing (MI) can help.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.

on June 27, 2024

If you are living with untreated drug or alcohol addiction, it is likely having a devastating effect on your relationships, job, and overall health and well-being. Despite this, finding the motivation to change can be difficult.

The compassionate care team at Bedrock understands this unique challenge and can help you find the motivation to get on and stay on the path to addiction recovery. One way we do this is through providing motivational interviewing (MI), an evidence-based technique that can help you find your own motivation to change.

Although initially developed to help people overcome alcohol addiction, MI is also proven to help people with other substance use disorders (SUD) and non-substance-involved mental health disorders embrace healthy choices. An assessment shortly after arriving at BRC will help determine if you would benefit from MI.

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Key Aspects Of Motivational Interviewing

MI can inspire the drive to build a better life in recovery.

It does so by helping you:

  • recognize the gap between your current life and where you want to be
  • envision ways that your life might improve if you embraced change
  • identify the obstacles that keep you resisting change

During MI sessions, your therapist will practice reflective listening by repeating what you say back to you in his or her own words. Hearing your reasoning and motivation expressed back to you in this way can help you clarify what you’re thinking and feeling.

With this technique, the therapist mostly serves as an empathic listener and a sounding board. The therapist meets you where you are with acceptance and doesn’t necessarily offer advice but instead guides a conversation that helps you discover your own motivation to change.

Overall, the MI model is based on the perspective that the therapist and client are equal members of a team working collaboratively toward change. This perspective is sometimes referred to as the spirit of motivational interviewing, represented by partnership, acceptance, compassion, and evocation, with evocation referring to eliciting and exploring the client’s current motivations, values, strengths, and resources.

The Roots Of Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is based on two highly regarded therapy models that came before it: person-centered psychotherapy, or “Rogerian therapy,” borrowing from the name of the psychologist who pioneered it, Carl Rogers, and the five stages of change.

In person-centered talk therapy, there are three core conditions that guide the session:

  • congruence: This is the therapist’s willingness to relate like a human being, rather than a professional, to the client.
  • unconditional positive regard: The therapist must accept and value the client’s feelings and be able to listen without interrupting, judging, or giving advice.
  • empathy: The therapist must make it clear that they are there to understand the client’s point of view.

Motivational interviewing and the five stages of change are also closely linked. Originally, the stages were developed as an aid for quitting smoking, but they are used today in a variety of behavioral health interventions.

The five stages of change are:

  • pre-contemplation: The idea of change hasn’t entered your mind yet.
  • contemplation: You’re thinking about the possibility of change.
  • preparation: You’re planning how you’ll take action toward change.
  • action: You’re executing your plan to achieve change.
  • maintenance: You’re working to maintain the change that you’ve worked toward.

With MI, these stages play a significant role in tracking where you are versus where you want to be.

Evidence For MI’s Efficacy

Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based therapy technique, meaning that the latest scientific research has found it to be effective.

For example, recent studies have found that:

  • MI reduced the frequency and volume of alcohol consumption in people with alcohol use disorder.
  • MI reduced binge drinking, both consumption frequency and quantity, and peak blood alcohol concentration in people aged 25 and younger.
  • MI reduced relapse in people with substance use disorder.
  • MI reduced short-term cannabis use in young adults.

Discover If Bedrock Recovery Center Is Right For You

Call Bedrock Recovery Center today to learn more about how our comprehensive and personalized care can help you or your loved one find lasting recovery from addiction or mental illness.

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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