Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a method of counseling often used to treat certain types of addiction. It is a non-confrontational treatment tool that centers around goals to change feelings which result in unwanted behavior, rather than forcing individuals to abstain from or defend the dependent behavior itself. This method of counseling was first discussed in the late 1980s and began to be further developed several years later by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick.
What is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?
Motivational Enhancement Therapy involves a form of interviewing which uncovers thoughts of ambivalence, or conflicting feelings about one particular person, place or thing. When a person has this love/hate type of relationship toward a situation or behavior, such as the use of drugs, it often results in a complete lack of motivation to change. Through direct, but non-judgmental questions and statements, counselors and therapists can identify perceptions and beliefs that may be leading to addiction. More specifically, MET involves the expression of empathy toward the client’s situation, which moves into a discussion of discrepancies caused by the client’s conflicting feelings. Any resistance to change is allowed and supported by the therapist, allowing the client to discover self-efficacy in a very personal and revelatory manner.
Types of Drug Addiction Treated Using Motivational Enhancement Therapy
This form of counseling and treatment is successful to varying degrees, largely depending upon the type of addiction being treated. With alcoholics, success is experienced both with increased willingness to participate in direct treatment options, as well as a more positive outcome of those rehabilitation methods. Likewise, adults who are dependent upon marijuana tend to be successful in changing thought-patterns and behaviors which lead to the dependence. For some patients, a greater degree of success is found when MET is used together with other behavioral treatment, such as cognitive therapy.
Benefits of Motivational Enhancement Therapy in treating Drug Addiction
Motivational Enhancement Therapy provides several key benefits when compared to more traditional treatment methods. Because of the way in which patients are approached during an MET session, a sense of self-competence can be quickly established. By offering non-confrontational and non-argumentative questions and suggestions, therapists are able to avoid patient interactions that cause defensive or resistant responses. This automatically leads to a more positive and beneficial mindset, opening up the patient for willingness to participate in his or her own recovery. Rather than pushing these individuals toward a step-by-step recovery process, MET provides a reflection of the patient’s opinion of self, ability to make changes and discovery of potential paths for wellness. As the patient makes these personal discoveries, empowerment leads to willingness and desire to improve destructive behavior patterns. Healthier life decisions can lead to improved overall well-being.