Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) works on the premise that clients who may be in a state of ambivalence about drug therapy or their substance abuse can be guided via self recognition into rapid and internally motivated change.
The therapist engages in approximately four sessions with the client. The first of which is an assessment and discusses the client’s use, and the extent of the client’s level of comfort.
The therapist does not, however, push them. This can put the client on the defensive, immediately negating the opportunity for openness and becomes counter-productive to getting therapeutic work done, especially given this modality is done in only a few sessions. It can elicit a defensive response and immediately close the client off from the therapist, rendering this short form of therapy ineffective.
This modality allows the therapist to supportively engage the client with feedback from the initial assessment, then helps the client formulate reliable coping strategies based on and from that very assessment.
From there, the therapist guides the client toward an opportunity to create change, construct tangible goals and then set in motion plans to alter risky behaviors. The goals and action plans are based on information the client has disclosed in the initial assessment as well as what they’ve subsequently shared about their use.
The Focus of Motivational Enhancement Therapy
With MET’s focus on goal making, the therapist is able to guide the client to work directly toward that specific set goal. This gives the client an opportunity to succeed at realistic short and long term goals and interests which are not related to continuing their addiction.
This modality allows the client to self-assess their situation, with assistance from the therapist, and weigh the pros and cons of their drug use. The client analyzes the positive aspects of their substance use (from their perspective) and the therapist in a non-judgmental and non-challenging manner encourages them to recognize how their substance use might have had less positive aspects on their life or situation.
The guidance itself should be positive without pushing the client or alienating them. This also allows the client to move toward self-recognizing their own abilities. This can feed directly into the client adopting self-motivating statements, which is part of the modality.
Over the course of these sessions, the therapist continues to mark and monitor the client’s progress, review strategies, note the client’s capabilities and share with the client their forward motion, promoting everything that is seen as progress.
From this perspective, there is a good chance of success because set goals are noted, tangible, achievable and discussed immediately as they occur.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy is most successful when it’s utilized in a treatment environment and coupled with additional modalities. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually one of the most responsive modalities to which MET is paired.
At Alo House, we tailor our comprehensive treatment plans toward our clients based on each one’s individual needs, and not solely on what studies have shown. We see our clients as the unique people they are, and not in terms of statistics.
Our goal is to give our clients a comprehensive plan of action, allowing for a greater opportunity for success in their pursuit of a life based on health and well being.
Find out about other Alo House Treatment Modalities.