Often, the decision to quit an addictive substance is filled with ambivalence. This is especially true for individuals who are in treatment as a result of a court order, but even though those who seek treatment on their own may have a period of being unsure. Individuals worry about going through withdrawal, being strong enough to stay sober, or being able to function without the crutch of the substance. They aren’t completely sure they want to change. This is why motivational interviewing and addiction were meant to be together.

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing is a counseling method that normally runs only a few sessions. It is based on the idea anyone working toward getting drug-free has periods where ambivalence sets in. During these times, individuals doubt they made the right decision. Rather than try to directly convince you that you do indeed want the benefits of recovery, your counselor works with you to help you see where you are now and find out where you want to be. You and the counselor become partners in this process which works in four stages:

  • The counselor actively listens to your reasons for not wanting to change or resisting change. They are empathetic and understand that the will to change must come from within and can’t be forced upon you.
  • Next, you and the counselor work on finding out where you see yourself in the future. This helps you see how your current behavior is standing in the way of getting to that place.
  • Motivational interviewing and addiction recovery is a process fluctuating as willingness to see the need to change rises and falls. No one will ever force you into change.
  • Once you have decided you want to change, counselors work with you to develop a plan to make it happen.

Why Are Motivational Interviewing and Addiction a Good Match?

Motivational interviewing and addiction make a great partnership because the person with addiction knows that change is important. But they may be scared. People instinctively fight against forced change. Addiction speaks internally, trying to convince the person that change is not possible or that it will be painful. Inside is another voice. However, that says change is necessary. By listening with empathy and allowing the person with the addiction to talk their way through the ambivalence, the voice of reason will most often break down that wall of resistance.

Who Can Benefit Most from Motivational Interviewing?

Anyone ordered to rehab through the court system or entering rehab as a result of pressure from friends and family can benefit from this therapy. Individuals work through their inner turmoil. They learn to see situations more clearly. Also, they realize how their current behavior stands in the way of getting to where they want to be.

Westwind Recovery®

At Westwind Recovery®, we understand how frightening facing life clean and sober can be. Thus, we work with you to design a program that helps you feel most comfortable with your recovery plan. Contact us at 855.340.8832 to see what we have to offer our residents. Our program is small, for more personal interaction. Weekend activities get you out in nature and help your soul heal as your body does. So don’t allow ambivalence to stop you from reaching out. Our motivational interviewing and addiction program will help you work through any issues you may have about your recovery.