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How Motivational Interviewing Is Used in Addiction Recovery

woman participating in motivational interviewing for addiction recovery

Motivational interviewing is a form of addiction treatment in which the therapist acts as the interviewer, and the client becomes the interviewee. The purpose of this type of treatment is to prompt a change in the client’s life. For instance, people who struggle with alcohol use disorder may find motivational interviewing helpful because it helps them visualize all the ways drinking impedes their goals. Once they realize the impact that alcohol has on their life, and are willing to accept it, they can work with their therapist to develop a strategy of change. It sounds overly simple, but this form of therapy has the potential to bring about life-altering changes, especially regarding addiction.

At Rockland Recovery, our team uses motivational interviewing as a component in an alcohol addiction treatment program. If you are struggling with addiction, our Rockland Recovery motivational interviewing treatment may be the key to your ongoing recovery.

Motivational Interviewing Requires Engagement

To be successful, the therapist or interviewer must become fully engaged with the client. This means they listen to what the client is saying and mirror these thoughts back in various forms. There is no judgment in this form of therapy, and the interviewer does not try to convince the client that change is needed. Instead, they work on building trust and on being a thoughtful, neutral third party. In this way, the client feels free to talk about topics that may feel embarrassing or taboo.

Motivational Interviewing Prompts Focus

When successful, this form of therapy is excellent at helping clients decide which issues they wish to confront. The therapist does not try to guide the client or to coerce change. Instead, they ask open-ended questions to help clients achieve their own realizations. Once the client decides which goal they would like to reach, the therapist then helps point out discrepancies between where the client is now and where they want to be in the future. It’s also the interviewer’s job to help the client devise strategies for change.

Motivational Interviewing Evokes Change

Spoken words are powerful tools in the motivational interview for addiction recovery. It’s empowering to voice a goal out loud. It’s the therapist’s job to help clients vocalize their hopes and dreams. In effect, this helps to cement these ideas in the client’s mind. Afterward, talking about how to remove or maneuver around obstacles helps the client form strategies for change.

Motivational Interviewing Aids the Planning Process

Once the client has chosen a goal to work toward, it’s the therapist’s job to give them tools for success. This stage of therapy is the planning stage. It’s where clients learn exactly how to achieve success and precisely what they must do to earn that success.

The planning process involves SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  • Solid
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

When the client has a firm grasp of what they’re working for and how to measure their progress, goals become easier to achieve. The therapist can help them stay on track by developing strategies for moving forward.

Motivational Interviewing for Addiction Treatment at Rockland Recovery

For clients who live in and around Massachusetts, Rockland Recovery provides an excellent level of care for addiction recovery. Our integrated behavioral health care programs combine holistic methods with evidence-based therapies. As a result, we have a high recovery rate among our clients. Motivational interviewing is a common tool used in our addiction recovery programs, and we’d love to tell you more about it.

See How Motivational Interviewing Is Integral in Recovery

If you’re ready to reach out for drug and alcohol addiction treatment in the Massachusetts area, call Rockland Recovery today at 855.732.4842 or complete our secure online form for more information about the programs we offer and to view our sober living homes. At Rockland Recovery Treatment Centers, we have the experience and the knowledge to help guide you to sobriety. Find out more today.

Medical Reviewer Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Medically Reviewed by Kate Perfetti, LADC II

Kate is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor who has worked in the field of substance abuse for the last nine years. At Rockland Recovery, Kate works to provide resources to the local community and engage and progress Rockland Recovery’s alumni program.


Take the First Step Toward Recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to request a confidential call to explore treatment options, ask questions, and receive support from experienced professionals. We know taking this first step can be challenging, but it’s a courageous and important part of the recovery journey.

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