Motivational Interviewing

Florida Motivational Interviewing for Addiction

Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic technique for helping people make changes in their lives. It has been applied effectively to the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.

Motivational interviewing is based on three key concepts: collaboration between the therapist and the person with the addiction, rather than confrontation by the therapist; drawing out the individual's ideas, rather the therapist imposing their ideas; and autonomy of the person with the addiction, rather than the therapist having authority over them.

Teamwork vs Confrontation

Collaboration is based on the point of view and experiences of each client, and together, teamwork is formed. This teamwork-centered approach may contrast with some other approaches to addiction treatment. Collaboration has the effect of building rapport, allowing the person with the addiction to develop trust towards the therapist. 

This does not mean that the therapist automatically agrees with the person with the addiction. The client and their Florida addiction treatment therapist may see things differently, which is why the therapeutic process is focused on mutual understanding.

motivational interviewing

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Drawing Out Rather Than Imposing Ideas

Motivational Interviewing allows the addiction therapist to draw out ideas from the individual, rather than imposing their own opinions. It is based on the belief that the motivation, or desire, to change comes from the person with the addiction, not from the therapist. No matter how much the therapist might want the person to change their behavior, it will only happen if that individual wants and allows for change. It is the therapist's responsibility to "draw out" each person's motivations and skills for change, not order the client on what to do.

Individuality vs. Authority

Unlike other treatment models that emphasize the doctor or the therapist as an authority figure, Motivational Interviewing identifies that the true power for making change rests within the person with the addiction. It is up to the individual to follow through on creating change. This is empowering to the individual, and gives them accountability for their actions.

How Change Happens in Motivational Interviewing

Four guiding principles form the basis of the Motivational Interviewing. Although each person's process of overcoming addiction will be different, the therapist will hold true to these principles throughout everyone’s process. These principles are vital to establishing trust within the therapeutic relationship.

Empathy and Acceptance

People with addictions are often unwilling to go into treatment because they don't believe their therapist will understand why the addictive behavior means so much to them. Many clients will believe they will be judged, some even feeling guilty about their behavior. 

Instead of judging the person with the addiction, our Florida addiction therapists emphasize with the situation from the client's point of view. Empathy does not mean that the therapist constantly agrees with the person, but that they understand and that the individual's behavior makes sense to them.

Clients Come to their Own Conclusions

Motivational Interviewing recognizes that people with addictions are usually indecisive, and uncertain about whether they want to change. Their addiction has already had consequences for them, which likely have brought them into addiction treatment. Moreover, their addictions have developed as a way of coping with life.

Motivational Interviewing helps people make up their minds about how to move forward through the stages of change. Goals and actions can be created in this trusting, collaborative atmosphere without pressure. Furthermore, each will be based on the individual's own needs, wishes, goals, values, and strengths.

Developing a New Understanding

Change does not always happen easily or just because the individual wants it. It is natural for a person to change their mind many times about whether they want to give up their addiction. Motivational Interviewing is prepared to handle situations like these. 

Rather than opposing or criticizing the person with the addiction, the therapist will help the individual reach a new understanding of themselves. They do this by re-framing and offering diverse interpretations of each situation.  All of this is based on the goals and ideals of the individual, which have been explored by the therapist. 

Simple Support

The Florida addiction therapist will always support the person's belief in their own power to make the changes they want. Although therapists initially hold more confidence than their clients that they will succeed, this often changes with time.

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