Motivational Interviewing

Casa Recovery Offers Motivational Interviewing 

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a form of short-term therapy that aims to help individuals embrace and commit to an important change they need to make in their life. 

At Casa Recovery, MI is used to encourage patients to invest their time and energy in drug and alcohol treatment. We also offer other therapies that can be used alongside MI for a comprehensive recovery experience. 

Finding Reasons to Make a Change 

The purpose of MI is to help patients find the internal motivation to start or stay in treatment, as well as become open to the opportunities that sobriety has to offer. In other words, it helps them discover their own reasons for why they need to take a new path. 

The second part of MI is that patients are guided in making a commitment to themselves rather than just expressing the need for change. Clear action steps can be outlined that will enable the individual to achieve their recovery goals. 

This type of therapy is most useful for those who lack the desire to get treated or don’t clearly see the reasons why it is necessary. MI takes patients through six emotional stages to get them to the point of realization. 

Why Change Can Be Difficult to Process 

Getting Stuck in Decision-Making Limbo

Accepting the need to quit drugs or alcohol can be challenging for a number of reasons. Some patients get stuck in limbo between the pros and cons of sobriety. They might want change … but also not want change at the same time.

For example, they may be conflicted about trading off the short-term benefits of how substances make them feel versus the long-term benefits of building a stable and healthy life. Conflicting thoughts and desires create a sense of uncomfortable ambivalence, making it hard for the individual to make a sure decision about recovery.

Fear of the Unknown in Sobriety 

Committing to change means accepting that there are going to be times when life is very challenging but working through it anyway. Individuals with an addiction may fear sobriety for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Losing old friends 
  • Rediscovering their identity
  • Being labeled as an “addict”
  • Symptoms of withdrawal 
  • Facing their insecurities or trauma
  • Thinking they can’t achieve their goals
  • Having to face life and emotions without substances 
  • Fearing an inability to get pleasure from other sources

Lacking Reasons to Quit

Some people simply don’t understand why their substance abuse is harmful. For individuals who are early in their substance use disorder (SUD), the negative consequences of addiction may have not emerged yet. Perhaps they can still hold a job, maintain good hygiene, and follow through on responsibilities. However, recreational use often leads to SUD. 

The individual may lack perspective on how their substance use impacts their health in the short- and long-term, and how serious addiction really is. Addiction also hurts family and friends, but the individual may not realize how their actions are already taking their toll on themselves and others. 

The Role of the Interviewer  

For these reasons, motivational interviewing is an effective tool to get individuals to a point of being willing to receive treatment and commit to the process. 

In MI, the interviewer has the job of encouraging patients to talk about their issues and reasoning through the need for treatment. They will relay their understanding of the patient’s ideas and concerns back to them in a neutral, non-judgmental way in order to put them into perspective. This strategy can lead a patient to see that the decisions they’ve made are not aligned with their values and goals.

Some qualities to look for in an interviewer include patience, empathy, and good listening skills. Through interviewing techniques, they also aim to empower the patient, helping them discover how their own strengths can guide them through the journey. 

This collaborative process between the interviewer and the interviewee also involves building a recovery plan and monitoring the patient as they progress through the stages of change. 

6 Stages of Change 

Where a patient is mentally and emotionally in their addiction recovery journey determines the type of MI techniques that are used by the therapist. A patient can be in one of the six stages of change:

  1. Precontemplation: The patient is not ready, unwilling, or is unaware of the need to get sober.
  2. Contemplation: The patient realizes they have a problem but may be ambivalent about treatment.
  3. Preparation: The patient has committed to a plan.
  4. Action: The patient has started taking action in accordance with the plan.
  5. Maintenance: The patient has been taking action to change their behavior for six months or more. 
  6. Recurrence: The patient has relapsed and re-examines what they could do better to achieve maintenance. 

For example, when a patient is in the precontemplation stage, a therapist may focus on acknowledging the patient’s feelings and respecting their decision, as well as encouraging the individual to explore the issue further. If a patient has relapsed, the therapist may acknowledge the patient’s efforts and reframe the recurrence as an opportunity to learn from mistakes.

Participate in Motivational Interviewing at Casa Recovery

Casa Recovery believes that every individual who is struggling with addiction deserves a fulfilling and productive life. Motivational interviewing can guide a patient to realize the many reasons they should commit to treatment and recovery. Importantly, it helps patients realize they have the confidence and strength to get through anything. 

Casa Recovery is a fully licensed treatment center for addiction and mental health in San Juan Capistrano, CA. We are a family-oriented, collaborative treatment program committed to clinical excellence and quality care for our patients. We provide a supportive and therapeutic environment where our patients can truly heal. Motivational interviewing is just one of many techniques that we use in treating addiction. Call Casa Recovery at (888) 928-2272 to learn more about how motivational interviewing can help you. 

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