This type of addiction treatment utilizes strategies such as reflection and rolling with resistance to address an individual’s motivation to change. It adopts a non-confrontational style to engage patients in treatment and help them identify pros and cons of both continued addiction and attending treatment to get sober. It is a practical and short-term process that considers the difficulties of making changes in one’s life.
MI is often used when dealing with addiction, as well as managing physical health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. MI helps people get the motivation they need to change the behaviors that are preventing them from making healthier choices and it can also prepare them for other, more specific types of therapy. Research shows that MI works particularly well with people who start off lacking motivation and are unprepared for change, while it is less useful for those who are already motivated to change.
Motivational interviewers encourage patients to talk about their need for change in their lives and their own reasons for wanting to change. The interviewer’s main role is to evoke a conversation about change and commitment and the listen and reflect back the client’s thoughts so that they can hear their own reasons and motivations expressed back to them.
MI is usually short-term counseling that can last for just one or two sessions, although it can also be included as an intervention along with other, longer-term therapies.