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Motivational Interviewing


Build a foundation for lasting recovery from addiction

a woman sits with a specialist during her motivational interviewing therapy programMotivational interviewing (MI) is a counseling approach by a directive, patient-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping patients to explore and resolve ambivalence. It’s an evidence-based approach to behavior change often used in addiction treatment. Evoke Waltham has therapists well-educated in motivational interviewing for treating substance use disorder. Our therapists will help you to explore the pros and cons of changing your behavior. They will work with you to figure out how to make changes that last. Contact Evoke Waltham at 866.276.1920 for more information on our addiction therapy programs and the benefits that motivational interviewing can have on your recovery.

What Is Ambivalence?

Ambivalence is the sensation of being conscious of the risks posed by substance use while continuing to use them. It’s a desire to stop using drugs but fears failure. Getting into addiction treatment programs, yet maintaining that the issues aren’t that serious. Our motivational interviewing program is a way to talk with patients who use substances, so they realize their capabilities for change and choose willingly. This, in turn, helps them understand and achieve their full potential.

Evoke Waltham practices motivational interviewing with five general principles in mind:

  1. Express empathy through reflective listening
  2. Develop discrepancy between patients’ goals or values and their current behavior
  3. Avoid argument and confrontation
  4. Adjust to patient resistance rather than opposing it directly
  5. Support self-efficacy and optimism

While the principles and skills of motivational interviewing are helpful in a wide range of conversations, motivational interviewing for treating addiction is particularly useful to help people examine their situation and options when any of the following are present:

  • Ambivalence is high, and people are stuck with mixed feelings about the change
  • Confidence is low, and people doubt their abilities to change
  • Desire is down, and people are uncertain about whether they want to make a change
  • The importance is low, and the benefits of change and disadvantages of the current situation are unclear.

What Is the Goal of a Motivational Interviewing Therapy Program?

Motivational interviewing aims to help people resolve their ambivalence to proceed with treatment and recovery. It’s a way to explore the pros and cons of change so that patients can make an informed decision about their lives. The therapist’s role is to listen and support, not to tell the patient what to do.

Motivational interviewing is not a “cure-all” and will not work for everyone. It is, however, an evidence-based approach that is effective in helping people make changes in their lives. The goal is to see the following changes in the way the patient talks and moves towards change and hopefully predict future success:

  • Commitment – The patient says “I will” or “I promise.” These statements make it more likely the person will do something
  • Activation – The patient makes statements that signal they are ready, willing, and prepared to make a change. However, they may not be fully committed yet
  • Taking steps – The patient says something to the therapist that indicates they have taken a step toward change, for example attending an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting or checking into rehab.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Evoke Waltham to learn more about our evidence-based treatment programs like motivational interviewing.

If you're ready to start your journey to recovery, we're here to help.

Our Motivational Interviewing Therapy Program at Evoke Waltham Can Help

Evoke Waltham offers alternative treatment options to individuals and families affected by substance use and needing professional care as quickly as possible. We have developed a unique addiction therapy program centered around flexibility and adaptability. Not only is our in-person, over the phone, or virtual services available to individuals struggling with substance use, but to their family members.

We work to restore healthy family functioning to families that the reality of active addiction has ravaged. Our main goal is to provide comprehensive clinical care to men and women in the state of Massachusetts and all surrounding areas—clinical care that they might not otherwise have access to. If you or someone you love is struggling, contact us to learn more about our motivational interviewing therapy program at our Waltham, Massachusetts, facility and how it can help your recovery. Contact us at 866.276.1920.