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How Does Motivational Enhancement Therapy Work?

Not everyone in treatment for addiction or co-occurring mental health disorders wants to make changes. They could be in treatment because others insisted upon it, such as loved ones after an intervention or due to legal issues. Without a personal drive to succeed in treatment, many clients struggle to make progress. That is where motivation enhancement therapy (MET) can help.

Harmony Place in Los Angeles, California, meets our clients where they are in recovery. Sometimes, even clients who are willing to enter treatment are still unwilling to make changes. And, our team is here will help them find the motivation they need to succeed in recovery.

What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a counseling and intervention approach to help clients find the motivation to change. MET can be viewed as a preliminary to other approaches or as an enhancement of an existing treatment program. 

The primary goal of MET is to help clients struggling with ambivalence to change. Once clients overcome their ambivalence, they can fully engage in the process. Thus, MET can be part of an intervention stage to get a person to realize that treatment can help them. It can also help when clients hit a rough patch in recovery and feel stagnant.

What Is Ambivalence to Change?

In recovery, ambivalence to change refers to having conflicting ideas about the treatment process itself. Clients feel ambivalence when they question their ability to change. They could also feel this way if they don’t feel they have a personal reason to put the work into their program.

Therefore, it is important that clients understand their own reasons for being in treatment. At times, they might need to re-evaluate their motivation throughout the recovery process.

The Process of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

MET isn’t a long-term therapy. It usually only takes about 4 sessions after an initial assessment. The assessment helps the therapist understand the client and why they are in treatment. After that, the first session focuses on discussing the assessment, as the therapist gives feedback to the client.

The following sessions focus on open-ended questions about the client’s behavior, goals, and thoughts about treatment. During this time, the therapist could also ask the client how other people view their behaviors. Oftentimes, a person in treatment is dealing with the consequences of how their behavior affected other people while not yet coming to terms with the problem itself.

Still, during MET, the therapist isn’t necessarily prescribing a particular treatment. Rather, the therapist is there to listen to the client to help them realize how treatment can help. Afterward, they could start to work on a change plan to continue therapy and pursue ongoing recovery.

MET doesn’t work by confronting the client. Rather, the therapist helps the client mobilize their intrinsic resources and motivation to change for the better. Therapists employ five techniques during this process.

What Are the 5 Techniques of Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

Throughout MET, a therapist will use the following therapeutic techniques:

#1. Express Empathy

Therapists approach the client with empathy and without judgment. Clients with an addiction or other problematic behaviors are often judged by others. However, many clients struggle with underlying issues, such as trauma, attachment issues, or co-occurring mental health disorders. In therapy, clients need to feel respected and acknowledged to make progress. 

#2. Acknowledge Discrepancy

As a client begins expressing their goals, a therapist will acknowledge the discrepancy between the current behaviors and attaining the goals. Oftentimes, clients don’t understand how their problematic behaviors get in the way of their own goals.

#3. Avoid Arguments

As mentioned previously, MET is non-confrontational. The therapist is not there to shame or blame the client for their behaviors. Nor are they there to tell the client what to do. Instead, a therapist is there to listen without judgment.

#4. Accept Resistance

Change is hard. Almost every client will resist change at some point in their recovery. Still, many people get caught up trying to fight resistance and force themselves through treatment. While it might seem counterintuitive, accepting resistance helps to overcome it.

#5. Support Self-Efficacy

Some clients feel ambivalent to change because they don’t believe in their ability to do so. During MET, a therapist will help to notice and highlight the client’s strengths. This empowers clients to go through the hard work of recovery.

The Goals of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Overall, the goals of MET are to overcome ambivalence, uncover a client’s motivation, empower a client to make positive changes, and move forward in recovery. Clients can benefit from MET when they feel unmotivated in treatment. In addition, clients in long-term recovery could benefit from MET by re-evaluating their motivation for change. 

Find Your Motivation to Recover Today

Motivation to change is a crucial part of the recovery process. Clients enter treatment in various stages of change. Some clients in treatment understand they need to make changes, yet don’t feel motivated to do so. On the other hand, some clients don’t believe that treatment can help them.

Motivation enhancement therapy (MET) can help clients overcome their ambivalence to change in recovery. It can also help clients who don’t feel motivated to engage in addiction and mental health treatment.

Contact Harmony Place today and discover the motivation to make positive changes in your life.

Harmony Place Can Check Your Insurance Coverage

Harmony Place, located in the vibrant heart of Los Angeles, California, is a distinguished drug and alcohol rehab center committed to fostering recovery and healing. We understand that navigating the financial aspects of treatment can be overwhelming, which is why we accept health insurance from a variety of providers. Our facility proudly accepts coverage from Anthem Blue Cross rehab coverage, Aetna, Cigna, Blue Shield of CA, Carelon, and Humana. This breadth of insurance acceptance underscores our commitment to ensuring that access to empathetic, professional, and comprehensive care is within reach for as many individuals as possible.

We warmly invite you to contact Harmony Place for a personalized assessment of your insurance benefits. Our expert team is ready to help you understand the specifics of your coverage and how it can support your journey to recovery. Taking this first step is a powerful act of self-care, and we’re here to guide you through every subsequent step with compassion and professionalism. Reach out to us today, and let’s explore together how your insurance can facilitate your path towards a healthier future.