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Motivational Interviewing

a woman makes a breakthrough in her co occurring disorder treatment through motivational interviewingIf your loved one is struggling with addiction, mental illness, or a dual diagnosis of both, you’re not alone. Millions of people turn to drugs or alcohol because they lack more effective coping mechanisms for daily stressors. Sadly, this is especially likely to happen if an underlying mental illness or trauma is present.

Fortunately, there are many effective mental health treatments and treatments for substance abuse available. One of the best is motivational interviewing. If you’re seeking a program in Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, or New Jersey, reach out to NuLife Behavioral Health today. Our caring team is happy to tell you more about this game-changing treatment approach and our range of effective offerings. Call 888.568.2057 or reach out online to seek better health today.

What Is Motivational Interviewing for Mental Health Treatment?

Motivational interviewing emerged in the 1980s to help with substance abuse treatment. Although designed to address addiction, the technique can also help those with mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

That said, it is most successful when paired with other treatments. This is true because its goal is to build motivation toward better health in the present and future. Clients may need other treatments, like cognitive-behavioral therapy, to address the equally important root causes of addiction or mental illness. Likewise, medical interventions such as appropriate medication may be necessary for working with certain mental illnesses.

The potential benefits of motivational interviewing as a part of mental health treatment are significant. They include gains like the following:

  • Clients can clearly visualize a future for themselves in which they have greater mental health
  • They experience more self-trust and self-confidence in the healing process and in general
  • They are empowered to change their lives and work toward greater health
  • Other forms of treatment are more effective because the client now accepts their goals
  • Clients gain a therapeutic relationship characterized by strong interpersonal rapport, which gives them a great place to talk through issues
  • A greater sense of responsibility and accountability is possible

How Does Motivational Interviewing Work in Addiction Treatment?

Motivational interviewing can also be a powerful tool for working with addiction. This is because it empowers clients to find their own reasons for gaining and maintaining sobriety. Unlike other forms of therapy, it doesn’t primarily strive to educate or provide general skills. The technique has been shown to be effective for many substance abuse concerns where motivation is a key factor. Smoking and alcohol abuse are especially responsive.

Motivational interviewing can be especially helpful for clients grappling with treatment-resistant addiction. In such cases, clients often received treatment because others requested or required it. Following treatment, the client then relapsed and, as a result, felt even more indifferent or uncertain about sobriety. Motivational interviewing closes this gap by acknowledging the reality that lasting change comes from within. The interpersonal impact of substance abuse is far-reaching and undeniable. Nevertheless, it is personal agency, not guilt or shame, that supports lasting recovery best.

Therapists, aka interviewers, use techniques covered by the acronym “OARS” when completing motivational interviews with clients, aka interviewees:

  • Open-Ended Questions – This type of question doesn’t allow for yes/no answers. It encourages interviewees to go deep about what’s going on in their lives and the changes they’d like to see.
  • Affirmations – Interviewers regularly point out interviewees’ strengths and praise their achievements. This encourages them to feel more confident about themselves.
  • Reflective listening – This approach involves restating what an interviewee has just said in an interview. It may also include making educated guesses about what they are implying but not saying directly. The goal is to get the interviewer and interviewee on the same page and ensure the interviewee feels fully heard.
  • Summaries – A broader form of reflective listening, summaries follow interviewees’ longer shares and help them identify themes and patterns. The self-awareness that summaries foster can generate informed desire for personal change.

Learn More About Motivational Interviewing at NuLife Behavioral Health Today

Don’t wait another minute to seek the help your loved one could use for greater mental health or addiction recovery. The caring team at NuLife Behavioral Health is standing by to tell you more about our accredited motivational interviewing programs in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, and Indiana. Just call us at 888.568.2057 or fill out our confidential online form to start the conversation.