Benefits Of Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Individuals who suffer from addiction often find it difficult to make a commitment to get help and follow through with therapy. This is true even if that person realizes they have a problem. Sometimes, people are reluctant to get help because they think their substance abuse isn’t all that serious or they don’t really have a problem that needs to be dealt with. For others, it may be that they shy away from popular treatment options, such as 12-step programs. For these individuals who are dealing with uncertainty when considering treatment, Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) was developed.
Individuals who are uncertain about rehab therapy, but do have a desire to discontinue drug use and change their lives need therapies for addiction that doesn’t involve confrontation, specified steps to recovery or techniques used to shame the individual.
Most people don’t want to abuse drugs or alcohol. Most can see the destruction their addiction has caused and can remember a time before the addiction took over and what their life was like prior to the addiction. Unfortunately, circumstances can block a person’s path to seeking treatment or take away their desire and motivation to seek treatment.
Because we know that most people really don’t want to continue on the destructive path of addiction, there’s a belief that they have a deep-down desire to seek treatment and recover from their addiction. MET focuses on this desire, no matter how faint that desire may appear, and works to awaken that desire. That desire is nurtured and encouraged until the person makes the decision to seek treatment and work towards recovery. Blocks to getting treatment can include:
- Deep-seated habits that are hard to break
- Misinformation as to how treatment actually works
- Negative experience with prior treatments
- Peer pressure from fellow addicts
- Fear of change
MET Goals and Principals
Rehab therapy involving motivational enhancement is based on the belief that a person’s motivation fluctuates. People and different circumstances can influence motivation. Since motivation is essential in changing behavior, it is important to enhance the motivation of an individual to seek therapies for addiction. Motivational enhancement therapy can accomplish this. MET involves an initial assessment to determine a person’s background, their experiences with drug abuse as well as any family members who abuse drugs, their goals, values and what they wish to accomplish. Tests may be given to assess physical and mental wellness. Strategies used during the assessment include:
- Helping an individual see that uncertainty is normal
- Addressing issues with prior treatments
- Discussing potential obstacles
- Providing feedback to increase motivation
- Calling upon the individual’s loved ones for help and support
Motivational enhancement therapy is used to boost an individual’s motivation in the following ways:
- Showing empathy and an understanding of what the individual is experiencing and listening intently to what that person is saying
- Helping the person see the gaps between goals and values and their current behavior
- Avoiding confrontation and arguments with the individual regarding the serious nature of their actions
- Going along with the person’s resistance to treatment. It’s best to remain neutral and acknowledge the resistance rather than contradict it.
- Showing confidence in a person’s ability to change and acknowledge the efforts they have already made towards their desired outcome
For individuals who are having a difficult time getting into treatment, motivational enhancement can be just what they need. It gives them confidence and that extra push. It can also help them see that they actually do need help with their addiction. Therapies for addiction have the ability to change a person’s life for the better and will motivate them to seek treatment.