Addiction is often triggered and sustained by feelings of low self-esteem and insecurity. Motivational interviewing is a counseling method that can help people address those feelings and improve their confidence. Advocates of motivational interviewing believe that most people struggling with addiction are aware on some level of the negative effects substance abuse has on their lives. This treatment is designed to motivate them to stay on the path to sobriety and overcome the temptations that lead to addiction.
At Silver Ridge, clients work collaboratively with motivation interviewers to sustain sobriety.
Separating “Identity” from “Addiction”
Addiction changes the way the brain functions and makes it difficult for someone caught in its cycle to separate themselves from their addiction. They may start seeing addictive behaviors as part of their core identity. It then becomes easier to believe the lie that substance abuse is the only way to cope with problems. However, this also comes with an awareness that the addiction is a problem. The key here is to remind the person that they are separate from their addiction and they can live without it.
There are seven key aspects of motivational interviewing:
- Motivation must come from within
- The person struggling with addiction must overcome their own feelings of ambivalence
- Ambivalence cannot be resolved through direct persuasion
- The interviewer must quietly prompt the client to provide information
- The interview can guide the client toward realization and resolution, but cannot do these activities for them
- The willingness to change is not an inherent trait; it is a learned behavior spurred by interpersonal interactions
- The interviewer and client should view their relationship as a partnership
Motivational interviewing is more about listening than actual interviewing. The interviewer should only prompt the client into speaking so that they can come to their own conclusions. This is the client’s opportunity to discuss their situation and why they need to change. In saying this out loud, it becomes easier to see why change is not only necessary, but something they truly desire.
An Important Step in a Larger Treatment Plan
Motivational interviewing serves as an important step in addiction treatment, but it alone is not enough to address all of the underlying concerns. Realizing why change is important is a useful motivating tool for a recovering addict as they fully engage in a holistic counseling and therapy program.