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Motivational Interviewing (MI) For Rehab Centers

Dr. Richard Foster, LICDC-CS

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Richard Foster, LICDC-CS

April 4, 2019

Counselors use different approaches during therapy sessions depending on the needs of their patients. It makes sense that what works for one person might not be effective for another. One way to address addiction treatment is motivational interviewing (MI). What is motivational interviewing, and how do we know that it is a successful means of treatment?

The Falsity Of Independence

Although the glamour of independence is idealized in Western society, being independent is not that easy. We are told to be our own person, work the job we want, take care of ourselves, do what we like without regard for others, and then we might somehow reach a level of happiness.

The reality is that many people value independence, while simultaneously striving to find partnership through a significant other. Although seeking a mate does not dissolve independence completely, it does reveal our desire to have a person by our side for support. This need for a support system is the main focus of motivational interviewing.

Unity Is Strength

Maybe you have been caught in the tendrils of addiction for too long. You might even be a counselor who is brushing up on why the strategies of motivational interviewing are so important. No matter the scenario, it is essential to note that collaboration with another person to achieve motivation is the heart of motivational interviewing.

Receiving encouragement and gaining inspiration from another person is a priceless gift. However, that does not mean that motivational interviewing is the magic potion cure for those struggling with addiction.

Does Motivational Interviewing Really Work?

Since 1991, motivational interviewing has been widely implemented for a variety of illnesses, including addiction. After all, motivational interviewing seemed to produce fast results in a short amount of time. These results were even consistent in small-scale trials conducted in the early 2000s.

However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials, motivational interviewing did not appear to have significantly different results for substance users than other forms of treatment at 28- and 84-day follow-ups. The only way that motivational interviewing made a noticeable impact is when it was incorporated into an initial intervention.

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Motivational Interviewing During Intervention

In a study of 423 substance users from different communities, motivational interviewing was shown to produce significantly better retention in patients at the 28-day follow up when part of a motivational interviewing “themed” intervention, rather than a standard intervention. This information concludes that “integrating motivational interviewing techniques in the earliest phases of treatment may have positive effects on retention early in the course of treatment.”

Flaws In Treatment

It is true that motivational interviewing is a popular idea as it relates to addiction treatment, but that does not mean there is a set standard as to how to use it in a clinical setting. In a two-day clinical training workshop, all 44 counselors that were studied differed in their knowledge base of motivational interviewing and how to implement it in a practice.

Such a flaw reveals the gap between a potentially good idea and its degree effectiveness. If counselors have a general idea of what motivational interviewing is, but do not agree upon how to treat patients with it, then treatment outcomes will be inconsistent.

What This Information Means

Motivational interviewing can create a bond between a patient and counselor that is necessary for dedication to treatment. Motivational interviewing is claimed to reduce uncertainty in individuals dealing with addiction. With this said, motivational interviewing should be implemented during the intervention stage and within the first 28 days in order to achieve notable success in the person striving for recovery from addiction. Finding a counselor who is experienced in this practice as a part of treatment is a crucial factor in choosing the proper rehabilitation facility.

Contact Us Today

If you know someone who is burdened by addiction, then you are not alone. Many people struggle with coping with the desire to drink or use a drug. In order to take a step into the right direction, contacting an expert who can help direct your path through this process critical.

Because there are so many options, choosing a drug rehab can seem overwhelming. However, involving a professional can make the task much more simple. You or a loved one can find the best treatment possible by contacting us at today.

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