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Motivational Enhancement Therapy by State

Motivational Enhancement Therapy by State

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) Services for Substance Abuse in the United States

Drug and alcohol addiction is self-destructive behavior, which does become worse for the longer you abuse drugs and alcohol. Self-destructive behaviors lead to physical and emotional pain and trauma, and addicts will completely ignore the consequences of their behavior, despite how bad things do become. Despite knowing the negative effects of drug and alcohol addiction and simply ignoring these, addicts will tend to have little motivation to change their behavior and actions. Motivational enhancement therapy is a person-centered approach, which does focus on the individual’s motivation to change. Those who are trained in motivational enhancement therapy will help their patients view their behaviors more objectively, and the patient may become more empowered to start a process of making a change. Motivational enhancement therapy was part of the Project Match in 1993, which was a clinical trial of treatment options for people suffering from alcohol addiction. MET does incorporate principals of motivational interviewing and counseling, which is incorporated into a structured therapeutic approach, along with a comprehensive assessment of the individuals’ behaviors.

One of the main goals for motivational enhancement therapy is to ensure a patient will overcome his or her resistance to behavior change. When a trained therapist is working with an addict, they will help them increase motivation by raising awareness about a problem, thereby adjusting any self-defeating thoughts. Further to this, the patient will then increase his or her confidence, and their ability to change. Essentially what does take place is the therapist will encourage the patient to make self-motivating statements, which do display a clear understanding of the problem and will then help them make a change. As with any other stand along with drug treatment methodology, MET will often be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment or therapy. Motivational enhancement therapy is also used as a pre-treatment, which can increase the motivation of the patient to want to change. Many experts believe that MET does work well with cognitive-behavioral therapy, but each drug treatment center in the United States will administer different forms of standardized treatment to help addicts.

There are five motivational principles that motivational enhancement therapy is based on, and the first is to express empathy. Just like any other type of therapy sessions, the therapist will work to create a supportive environment, where the patients can feel accepted and respected. Doing this will allow them to engage in reflective listening, and the therapist will also listen to what they are saying and reflect it back, which does allow them both to know that everything has been heard and understood. Developing discrepancy is the process of directing attention between an individual desired state of being and the patient's actual state of being. This will help recognize how current behaviors will prevent someone from achieving goals and provide a motivator for change. The therapist and patient will also want to avoid arguments, to decrease defensiveness and confrontation to keep the motivation going. Instead of directly confronting any resistance, the therapist will roll with the resistance, and try to diffuse it through reflective listening, or just going along with what the individual is saying. Finally, supporting self-efficacy is also important to support the beliefs that one is able to perform the tasks required to change. The role of the therapist is to help the patient become aware of his or her ability to take the necessary actions to change.

Motivational enhancement therapy can be used regardless of an addict's commitment to overcoming their addiction. This type of therapy, of course, has been proven effective when an individual has a strong resistance to change. Used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, addicts can successfully overcome his or her addictions. Throughout the United States, will be many drug rehab programs, counseling services, and mental health services that will utilize motivational enhancement therapy. When searching for a drug or alcohol treatment program, it will be important to take into consideration the type of therapies, which are offered. Not one single treatment methodology will work on every addict, and each addiction is different from the next. Many addicts abuse drugs for years, and it will require in-depth and well-rounded drug rehabilitation to get them out of their addictions.



Dr. Rohit is a Diplomate of the American Society of Addiction Medicine who has been supervising successful detox for over 13 years.


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