Motivational Therapy (MT) combines aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) along with the perspective that the client fits within the world, which is a component of this modality that sets it apart from aspects of other CBT-related modalities.
In effect, it is also posited to the client they are not alone in the world and as a part of something far larger than themselves, what they do affects others as well as themselves and how that ties into/connects to their substance abuse.
Focus of Motivational Therapy (MT)
There are aspects to this modality that can parallel Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) however they do not entirely mirror each other. MT focuses on specific problems, and sessions are rather truncated. There is a preference to rapidly facilitate and encourage an empathetic, compassionate connection between the therapist and the client in the immediate. This form of therapy is goal-oriented, working from a 7 stage, action-based process.
The Therapist’s Role in Motivational Therapy
The relationship between the therapist and the client is very delicate, and one of the focal points for the therapist is not to coerce or push the client. The therapist refrains from challenging or contradicting the client to avoid putting them on the defensive, which might negate the bond that needs to exist in order to do this work. Since this modality is primarily used in a treatment setting, time is of the essence.
The therapist can very gently guide the client to reconsider their perspectives on drug use and subsequently help them foster a desire to change from their current behavior, to get to a place of ceasing said drug use.
Stages of Motivational Therapy
- Pre Contemplation
1. In the first stage, known as Pre-Contemplation, each individual must come to a place of altering their view of their drug use from what might be a positive or even neutral perspective of their behavior, and forge that into a negative view instead.
The client usually has to come to this near-organically, and they have to be willing. This takes the client to the Contemplation stage, and the client is in consideration, with the willingness to think about changing.
2. Throughout this, the therapist continuously supports the client’s self-discovery/self-sufficiency in the process as well as staying empathetic and non-challenging.
3. The third stage is Preparation which takes this self-discovery/sufficiency and helps move the client from the willingness to positively stop using and then gets ready to form a tangible goal and create a Plan of Action (POA). From there it is an immediate move into the next stage, which is that of Action, utilizing what’s just been planned out.
The accomplishment of the client working toward reaching the goal and then checking in with the therapist accordingly, taking accountability. The therapist continues their persuading the client without challenge. This connection is the key on the therapist’s end to assist in helping the client with this path.
4. This leads into the next stage known as Maintenance and is where the therapist and client continue to keep the POA in motion, working through whatever may come up as the client integrates these new ways of advancement with balance into their life.
5. Sometimes there is a Relapse, which is considered the next stage though this does not always happen when practicing this modality. Relapse is not considered a backslide, and MT does not view it in the pejorative or in the scope of failure.
It is utilized as an opportunity to make a new approach with a reexamination of the old behavior and where/how it can be altered so when those events/feelings/thoughts are being revisited – there is a place to break the cycle so the return to self-harming behaviors has the opportunity to be removed and not repeated again.
6. This leads to the last stage of MT, Termination, which is the breaking of the cycles of negative behaviors.
Why Motivational Therapy is Beneficial
Motivational Therapy is extremely beneficial because it allows for an open dialogue that is goal-oriented with self-sufficiency, it is mindfully supportive via self-discovery, and it offers change without the pressure to conform to the idea of change.
It can be cultivated in our beautiful surroundings without a sense of being boxed in philosophically or literally. We view our clients as being unique individuals, and we pair them with the best treatment modalities to help them be successful.
At Alo House, Motivational Therapy fits nicely with our core beliefs in terms of working side by side with our clients. We believe this allows our clients to recognize the dignity of their own knowledge and desire to grow, and can do so through gentle guidance and an intrinsic understanding, which we regard as inherent to their being.
Find out more about Alo House Treatment Modalities.