The techniques used in motivational enhancement therapy, also known as MET, show substance abuse patients how to take their fate into their own hands. For treatment to work to the best of its ability, a patient needs to commit to it 100%. Unlike therapy that may continue throughout the entirety of treatment, motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is different. It can act as a precursor to treatment as a whole to help it stick.
Although it’s a newer form of therapy, MET is still evidence-based. That means there is enough peer-reviewed research to show that it works. In one study conducted by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, MET was able to help participants with an alcohol dependency. About 43% of those who participated in MET drank heavily after it, compared to the 65% of people who didn’t receive it at all.
Phoenix Rising uses a variety of techniques to strengthen the impact of substance abuse treatment. We find that MET is a powerful way to do so.
What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?
Motivational enhancement is a therapy technique that works to eliminate feelings of apathy and/or confusion about why you need treatment. In other words, it works to establish the clear reasons that you’re not as “in control” of your addiction as you may think you are.
Accepting that you’re no longer in control of what you do is a first step in the healing process for many within our holistic therapy program. It gives patients the opportunity to accept the road ahead of them and to make a commitment to recovery.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy vs Other Forms of Therapy?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), motivational enhancement therapy is different from other forms of therapy in that it attempts to help patients immediately. This is in comparison to popular forms of psychotherapy. Examples of these include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
The Beck Institute writes that therapies like CBT are considered short term treatment, although it takes about 10 to 20 sessions for patients to see improvement. On the other hand, motivational enhancement therapy takes five sessions at most. However, every patient is different. Some may need fewer sessions and others may need longer.
Other key differences include:
- It’s typically offered as a starting point to longer treatment (including therapy)
- Patients are encouraged to come to their own conclusions
- There aren’t steps (like a 12-step program)
- It’s a newer form of therapy
NIDA writes that this type of therapy doesn’t usually help a person suffering from a substance use disorder abandon their desire to stop using drugs and alcohol. Instead, it allows them to accept the choice to get help and make an active change. That is why it may be offered as a complementary therapy before one like CBT.
Traditional motivational enhancement therapy is structured. Therapy must be completed within 90 days and significant others are allowed to be in up to two sessions. Sessions are typically videotaped.
Yet, this form of therapy is made to be flexible. Therapists at Phoenix Rising understand that MET may be more effective. For instance, they might let significant others attend most of the sessions. We believe that all treatment should be personalized to the patient. Individualized plans help patients get the treatment that is right for them and them alone.
What To Expect from Motivational Enhancement Therapy
There is a timeline to motivational enhancement therapy especially because of the short duration. Patients should expect an initial battery assessment. The Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology says that a battery assessment is when a therapist measures a person’s psychological strengths and weaknesses. It’s not a typical test that students might take in school.
The initial test may look at these factors, among others:
- Flexible thinking
- Visuospatial ability
The first session will also go over the frequency of how much they use drugs and alcohol. In short, an initial session just covers where a patient is at. The therapist might disclose what to expect from the upcoming sessions, though it won’t focus on the healing process itself. That is for the actual treatment sessions.
After the initial session, a therapist will help a patient heal in the treatment sessions. They might choose to begin by discussing the results of the initial assessment. The results aren’t made to make patients feel worse, it just helps them identify what they may need to work on.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy Techniques After the Initial Session
Traditional motivational enhancement therapy techniques dictate that the first treatment session should begin one to two weeks after the first one. This may be different depending on the patient. The therapist will supply material that helps patients understand feedback and help them come up with strategies to produce mindful, active change. At the end of the second session, therapists will typically go over the plan, commitments, feedback, and remind them of the next sessions.
Sometimes patients are hesitant to commit to change. They may feel like they’re not in control of what steps they take next. If so, a therapist will ask them to just consider the possibility of changing for the next session.
The final sessions are meant to act as boosters. Usually, there is no adjustment to commitments or plans. It only reinforces the three motivational enhancement therapy techniques. The three pillars are:
- Reviewing progress
- Renewing motivation
- Redoing commitment
Ultimately, patients are left with the responsibility of making the connection of how substance use could result in physical and mental problems. Therapists are there to help and guide. They will ask questions to guide patients to these answers. Coping strategies aren’t suggested because a patient will be the one to come to their own conclusion.
Benefits of Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Truthfully, if there’s little inner will to change, a person cannot overcome addiction. It’s that simple. Even if family members and professionals can get you into rehab, you won’t realize the benefits or find lasting recovery if you don’t want to make the best of it.
That’s why a motivational enhancement therapy program in Palm Springs, CA helps people who are in this in-between place. To achieve a better understanding of your addiction as well as its impact, we use motivational interviewing techniques to urge discussion about use.
To this end, you’ll also explore how it’s affecting your life. Then through this same process, you establish the reasons you need to change. Finally, you’ll develop a clear plan to do it.
A motivational therapist may ask you to take a close look at things you don’t want to look at so you can get honest about how the substance is impacting your life areas like:
- Mental well being
Your Phoenix Rising therapist works with you, encouraging you and monitoring how well you’re sticking with the plan you developed to make a change and renew your life. Research shows that a MET can be especially effective if you’re abusing alcohol or marijuana and less effective with other types of drug abuse.
How a Motivational Enhancement Therapy Program Works
Motivational enhancement therapy works because it doesn’t force participants into changing. They might arrive at an addiction treatment center because they felt guilty about their actions. Perhaps a friend or family member gave them an ultimatum. Maybe they feel like they aren’t capable of changing, so they shouldn’t try at all.
MET can change this thought process by letting patients come up with why they deserve a happy, sober life. It makes them understand that addiction is treatable, but only with the motivation to overcome it. Therapists ask questions to help them arrive at the answers they need to hold on to as they go through the difficult process of recovering.
Like so many things in life, it’s best to manage addiction from multiple angles. This is why a MET program should be combined with both evidence-based and complementary programs such as:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program
- Equine Therapy Program (working with and taking care of horses)
- Group Therapy Program
- Family Therapy Program
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program
- Trauma-Informed Care Program
How Does Phoenix Rising Use Motivational Enhancement Therapy to Help Clients Heal?
Phoenix Rising’s motivational enhancement therapy program in Palm Springs CA incorporates MET with the evidence-based therapies and supplementary programs listed above and more.
We help you learn more about who you are and why you want to be free of substances. Additionally, we help you figure out how you’ll accomplish your life and recovery goals. To that end, we work to meet your individual needs with levels of care like:
- Residential Treatment Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
- Partial Hospitalization (PHP)
- 90 Day Rehab Program
- Aftercare Treatment Program
On our 4-acre ranch, we offer clients a place of rest, healing and renewal. We’re also sensitive to cultural differences and make accommodations for various religious observances, as needed. On-site, you’ll enjoy a pool, gym, rec room, and jacuzzi in which to relax and recover.
On top of the care you receive in our programs, after you’ve completed a program with us, we stand by you. We support you in your job search for up to one year as you begin to reestablish your life.
Begin MET Therapy for Substance Abuse in Palm Springs, CA
Complete renewal of body and mind is within your reach. You don’t have to let addiction control you any longer. And through a motivational enhancement therapy program in Palm Springs, CA, we can help you find the reasons to get on and stay on the recovery path.
To learn more about motivational enhancement therapy and our complete range of holistic treatment programs, contact us. You can experience renewal, healing and hope for the future. We can help you now if you take the first step.