Motivational interviewing is a unique therapeutic process. It can be used to help you overcome your substance use disorder (SUD). This method works to increase your motivation to make change happen, rather than persuading or convincing you that recovery is the best option.
By developing a sense of intrinsic motivation to recover, you will have more strength to continue your success. So many individuals struggle to move forward in recovery because they fear they are unable. Use this approach to recognize your strengths and establish the motivation you need to continue.
Components of Motivational Interviewing
The components of motivational interviewing can be divided into two categories: stylistic and technical.
Stylistic components of motivational interviewing relate to the overall spirit and feelings involved with this therapeutic process. These components focus on increasing your emotional involvement with the process.
Technical components of motivational interviewing focus on the use of specific skills. For example, motivational interviewing can help you deliberately and strategically practice your communication skills.
With its stylistic and technical components, motivational interviewing can be very effective. It can help you prepare your mindset for recovery success. Additionally, it can help you implement the skills necessary to push you forward.
Principles of Motivational Interviewing
The stylistic aspects of motivational interviewing engage the client and therapist with four main principles. As you review these principles, you can develop a deeper understanding of this practice. You will also gain a better understanding of the benefits it can bring to your recovery.
By working with your social worker or therapist, you establish a strong sense of collaboration. This collaboration strengthens as the two of you continue working together and engaging in the process of your recovery. Collaboration is greatly beneficial to ensure you are both on the same page and have clear expectations of your roles and boundaries moving forward.
It is not beneficial to feel pressured into believing the way your therapist believes or adopting their viewpoints. Instead, work collaboratively to develop your reasons for recovery and motivations to work toward change. Working together should create a safe environment for you to allow change to happen on your terms.
The act of acceptance is greatly important in the process of motivational interviewing. Acceptance involves internalizing the belief that you can solve your problems and change within your guidelines.
The acceptance approach can be divided into four main factors:
- Absolute worth: Accepting your whole self and acknowledging your true capabilities
- Autonomy and support: Becoming willing to change with support provided
- Affirmation: Focusing on the positives
- Accurate empathy: Ensuring you are being understood in an appropriate manner
By accepting each aspect of yourself and your abilities through recovery, you can further establish a sense of self-love. Being accepting of these factors can alleviate potential stress factors and negative emotions that hinder your ability to overcome SUD.
When working with a therapist or social worker, you may not feel motivated to change if there is a lack of compassion within the relationship. Feeling that you are understood can increase your ability to open up to the idea of change and push yourself to discover more about your needs.
Addressing the following components of compassion can help you establish this within your therapeutic relationship:
- Be able to recognize your emotions
- Pay attention to the emotions of others
- Imagine being in someone else’s position
- Adjust your responses
These techniques can be used for both the therapist and yourself in the motivational interviewing process. Being able to expand your understanding of the perspectives of others can help you discover more about your own needs. It may even help you recognize potential obstacles and viewpoints that are holding you back in recovery.
Evocation means understanding that everything you need to change and be successful in recovery is already within you. You just have to find it and apply your skills to make it happen.
Using motivational interviewing techniques in your therapy sessions can help you discover the abilities that are embedded within you. Recognizing the abilities you have can push you to increase your motivation. With this motivation, you can better implement the skills necessary to be successful through this journey.
Technical Skills of Motivational Interviewing
The stylistic components of motivational interviewing are based on humanistic practices. Technical components rely on the therapist implementing specific skills to enhance client perception and understanding of their problems.
The OARS acronym is used to outline technical skills within motivational interviewing:
- Open-ended questions
- Reflective listening
These therapeutic techniques can be used to help you further your self-discovery. By answering open-ended questions, you will be required to deeply think about the situations you are struggling with. Receiving affirmation can help you to feel supported in your choices. Having someone listen to you and summarize your main points of discussion can help reaffirm the support you are receiving and help you to feel comfortable opening up about deeper issues.
Motivational interviewing is a great resource to utilize in recovery from SUD for many individuals. If you are struggling to maintain motivation and accept your current situation, this process can be greatly beneficial to you. Take a deep dive into motivational interviewing and learn about how this therapeutic process works. Furthering your understanding of the stylistic and technical techniques involved with this process can help you decide if this therapeutic approach may be helpful for you to engage in. Learn about motivational interviewing, the four main principles of this process, and the OARS acronym used in therapeutic settings. For more information and help, reach out to Dream Recovery at (657) 216-7218.