What is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

Motivational enhancement therapy is a type of treatment that can help people overcome substance abuse disorder

What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs the US over six hundred billion dollars in healthcare, lost work productivity, and crime every year. Beyond the monetary cost, substance abuse can also have a devastating toll on families and communities.

Children growing up in homes where there’s substance abuse are more likely to suffer from abuse or neglect, and they’re also at a greater risk of developing an addiction themselves. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for those struggling with substance abuse.

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How Can Motivational Enhancement Therapy Improve Wellness?

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is one such treatment that is successful in helping people overcome substance abuse disorders. MET is a type of therapy designed to help people overcome substance abuse by addressing the underlying motivations for using drugs or alcohol.

A therapist trained in MET techniques will work with the client to explore the reasons behind their substance use and then help them develop alternative coping mechanisms that don’t involve using drugs or alcohol.

How Motivational Enhancement Therapy Works

Motivational enhancement works by helping the individual develop a more positive outlook toward sobriety.

The therapist will help the individual to see that there are other options available to them besides using drugs or alcohol and that they have the ability to make positive changes in their life. MET is an effective treatment for substance abuse, and it is particularly successful in helping people abstain from alcohol and drugs.

MET and Stages of Change

MET is often used in conjunction with the Stages of Change model, which is a framework for understanding and changing behavior. The Stages of Change model posits that people go through different stages when trying to change a behavior, such as quitting smoking or drinking.

The stages include:

  • Pre-contemplation: The individual is not considering a change.
  • Contemplation: The individual is considering change but has not yet made a commitment.
  • Preparation: The individual is ready to make a change and has started taking steps to do so.
  • Action: The individual is actively making changes in their behavior.

Maintenance: The individual is working to maintain the changes they have made.

The Stages of Change model can be used alongside MET to help people overcome substance abuse.

Relapse

If an individual relapses, it’s important to remember that this is not a failure. Relapse is expected in the early stages of change and can be seen as a part of the process. It’s essential to view relapse as a learning opportunity and to use it as motivation to continue working toward sobriety.

Techniques of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

MET uses several techniques to help people overcome substance abuse.

Expressing Empathy

This technique involves helping the client understand and share another person’s emotional experience. By doing this, the therapist can create a stronger connection with the client and help them to see the situation from another perspective.

Expressing empathy can also help build trust and rapport between therapist and client, which is essential for therapeutic success. When used effectively, this technique can be a powerful tool for assisting clients to overcome their challenges and make positive changes in their lives.

Acknowledging Discrepancies

This technique involves pointing out the discrepancy between the client’s current behavior and goals. For example, if a client is using drugs despite wanting to quit, the therapist would point out this discrepancy and help the client see how their behavior is not aligned with their goals.

Avoiding Arguments

Instead of potentially arguing, the therapist strives to understand the client’s point of view and build on their strengths. In this way, the client is more likely to be open to change and willing to explore new options.

This technique can be beneficial when clients are resistant to change or have a history of conflict. By avoiding arguments, the therapist can create a safe space for clients to express their true feelings and explore new ways of thinking.

Accepting Resistance

It’s important to remember that change is often complicated, and people will often resist it. However, accepting resistance can help the therapist understand the client’s point of view and find ways to work through it.

This technique can be helpful when clients are feeling overwhelmed or scared about making changes. The therapist can help the client feel heard and understood by accepting resistance, which can be an essential step in overcoming resistance and making progress.

Supporting Self-Efficacy

This technique involves helping the client believe in their ability to change. This can be done by providing positive feedback, setting realistic goals, and helping the client develop a change plan.

This technique is crucial because it can help increase motivation and confidence, essential for making changes. This technique can help clients overcome their challenges and make lasting changes when used effectively.

What Can Motivational Enhancement Therapy Help With?

MET can help people overcome a wide range of challenges, including:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Eating disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Benefits of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

MET is an effective treatment for substance abuse and other mental health disorders. It not only works quickly for many people, but it reduces resistance and ambivalence that patients might have otherwise had towards traditional avenues of therapy or recovery. 

MET also emphasizes the patient’s choice in many regards to their recovery. Overall, MET improves mental health, increases motivation and self-esteem, and helps to improve relationships with both the self and friends and family around us.

What Happens in a Motivational Enhancement Therapy Session?

During a MET session, the therapist focuses on many things in order to help the patient. 

Assessment

Any assessment aims to get to know the client and their unique situation. This process begins with building rapport and trust. The therapist will then ask questions about the client’s history, current circumstances, and goals.

The therapist will also use various assessment tools, such as interviews and questionnaires. By the end of the session, the therapist should understand the client’s needs and motivation for change. With this information, the therapist can develop an individualized treatment plan that is more likely to succeed.

Addressing Concerns

After the assessment, the therapist will address any of the client’s concerns. This step is crucial because it can help reduce resistance and ambivalence.

The therapist will also provide information about MET and how it can help clients overcome their challenges. By addressing concerns and providing information, the therapist can help the client feel more comfortable and open to change.

Create an Action Plan

The next step is to develop a plan. This plan will include the goals, actions, and strategies the client will use to make changes.

The therapist will help the client develop a realistic and achievable plan. This step is crucial because it can help increase motivation and confidence. In addition, the therapist can help the client feel more prepared and ready to make changes by creating a plan.

Supporting Personal Choice and Control

MET is unique because it emphasizes personal choice and control. The therapist will help the client explore their options and make informed decisions.

The therapist will also provide support and guidance throughout the process. This step is essential because it can help increase motivation and confidence. In addition, by supporting personal choice, the therapist can help the client feel more in control of their life and preferences.

How Does Motivational Enhancement Therapy Different from Other Methods?

MET is unique because it involves the following plans and actions for patients.

12-Step Facilitation (TSF)

This technique is similar to MET in that it focuses on helping the client overcome resistance and ambivalence. However, TSF also emphasizes the importance of 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

This technique can be helpful for clients who are resistant to change. In addition, by emphasizing the importance of 12-step programs, TSF can help increase motivation and confidence.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This technique is similar to MET in that it focuses on helping the client overcome resistance and ambivalence. However, CBT also emphasizes the importance of changing thoughts and behaviors.

Conclusion

Concise Recovery is an effective MET provider that can help individuals struggling with addiction. This type of therapy provides individuals with the tools to build motivation and take control of their lives.

Through MET, individuals will learn how to set goals, develop a positive outlook, and build a support network. These skills are essential for recovery and provide a solid foundation for lasting sobriety.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Concise Recovery can help. Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you or your loved one take the first step towards recovery.