Motivational Interviewing At Ohio Recovery Center

A unique therapy approach that focuses on recognizing that the therapist and client are equal partners in a collaborative team, motivational interviewing (MI) is one of the many evidence-based treatment options available at ORC.

For some people, the use of drugs or alcohol has seemed to have worked as a coping strategy in life, at least somewhat, and the desire to change this behavior may be weak or unclear.

MI can help people who are ambivalent, discouraged, or otherwise not entirely interested in treatment find their own motivation and confidence to change. 

Key to success is the partnership between the client and therapist, which is developed through compassion and understanding and acknowledges equal roles.

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What Is Motivational Interviewing?

Psychologists William Miller and Stephen Rollnick developed MI in the early 1980s to address problematic drinking but soon discovered that it was effective in addressing any problematic behavior.

They describe motivational interviewing as a “collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.”

With MI, your therapist meets you where you are in your journey to recovery and works with you to determine what your goals are and how to achieve them.

One critical aspect of this approach is that your therapist sees you as their equal, as someone who doesn’t necessarily need their help but may want it.

This allows you to work together as a team in identifying a need for change and how to make that change happen.

The Benefits Of MI

The following benefits of motivational interviewing can help you identify your desire to change and have the confidence to do so.

This is possible through a trusted partnership with the therapist, someone who cares about you and what you want and is committed to helping you achieve it.

Goal Discovery

It’s possible that you have never had someone listen to you with empathy, without judgment or trying to change your behavior.

As a partner working with you, your therapist will ask you open-ended questions and reflect your answers back to you. Called reflective listening, this communication style allows you to gain insights into your responses that you may not have been able to discover on your own.

By providing reflective listening, without judgment and without offering advice, your therapist allows you to discover what you really want to accomplish in life.

Discrepancy Development

Your therapist might also use reflective listening to help you develop discrepancies, or identify where your behaviors and your goals aren’t lining up.

In other words, your therapist can help you see the consequences that your behaviors are causing so that you can choose behaviors that better align with your goals.

This can help you develop the “why” you want to change, which can be critical for lasting recovery.

Strengthened Self-Efficacy

Your therapist may be an expert at change, but they also recognize that you are the expert at your own life.

From this standpoint, they work with you to uncover your own ability to make the changes you want to see in your life.

As you work together, your therapist will affirm your strengths, efforts, and successes, with a focus on how they can help you with your current goals.

Who Benefits From Motivational Interviewing?

Although MI has been shown to help a wide range of people discover the motivation and path forward to make changes in their lives, it is particularly beneficial for some people.

This includes people who:

  • are experiencing mixed feelings about change (ambivalence is high)
  • doubt their ability to change (confidence is low)
  • are uncertain about changing (desire is low)
  • are unclear about the disadvantages of their current situation or the benefits of change (importance is low)

Why MI Works

MI is thought to work because it doesn’t force or coerce people to change but rather helps them discover their own motivation to change.

It does this through establishing rapport between the client and therapist, establishing the two as a team, focusing on empathy, and practicing open ways of communicating.

This helps the client feel understood and supported, giving them the opportunity to draw on their own resources for change.

Start Your Recovery At Ohio Recovery Center

To learn more about motivational interviewing and the other types of evidence-based therapy at Ohio Recovery Center, please reach out to us.

  1. Improving MI Practices – Developing Discrepancy
  2. Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers – Understanding Motivational Interviewing

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: April 22, 2024

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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