Motivational Enhancement therapy (MET) works on the premise that clients who may be in a state of ambivalence about drug therapy and substance abuse or recognition thereof could 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, to the extent of the client’s level of comfort. The therapist does not, however, push them, which can put the client on the defensive, immediately negating the opportunity for openness and 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 the therapy immediately ineffective.
This modality offers 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 towards an opportunity to create change, construct tangible goals and then set in motion plans to alter risky behaviors regarding information the client’s disclosed from the initial assessment as well as what they’ve then subsequently shared about their use. 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 have and succeed at realistic short and long term goals and interests which are not related to or about furthering activating a continuation of their addiction.
This modality also has the client self-assess with assistance from the therapist, a weighing of pros and cons about their drug use, allowing them to come to conclusions about what once may have been thought of as a positive/pro attributes and then giving the therapist an opportunity, without judgment or challenge, to see if the client may be able to recognize where their use could have other, less positive, impacts on their situation/life. This can be guided to without pushing the client so as to not alienate 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.
In 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 it all that’s seen as progress. In this perspective, there is a better chance of success with this therapeutic paradigm because those set goals are noted, tangible, and have the ability to be achieved and discussed in the immediate.
MET seems to have the most success when it’s utilized in a treatment environment and coupled with additional modalities, CBT is usually one of the most responsive modalities to which MET has been paired. For Alo House, we gear our comprehensive treatment plans toward our clients based on our clients and not solely on what studies have shown. We see our clients as the people they are, not in terms of statistics. What we want to do is 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.