How Does Motivational Interviewing Support Recovery?

How Does Motivational Interviewing Support Recovery?

Recovery can be a long and tasking journey. Often this journey is perceived as something that can only be completed with the assistance of therapy or medication. However, there are other ways to support a successful recovery. Mindfulness and personal coping strategies are a few other options that can facilitate the recovery journey just as well.

At Roots Recovery, we believe in taking an approach to addiction recovery that helps heal the whole person and provides the client with lifelong coping mechanisms. Roots Recovery takes a whole-person approach that emphasizes healing the mind, body, and spirit connection. Repairing this internal connection allows clients to heal themselves before healing their relationships with others. This is important in the recovery journey as it allows clients to find new purpose within themselves and their lives. One of the services Roots Recovery offers to manifest this journey is motivational interviewing.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing uses mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) strategies to help clients bring mindful awareness to their addictive trappings and tendencies. Clients develop an increased awareness of their triggers, destructive habits, and automatic reactions. Using MBRP practices, clients bring themselves back to the present moment and interact with their inner being. Many clients feel like they do not have control over themselves or their choices. Motivational interviewing helps them take back control and make choices that support their recovery, health, and happiness.

The Four Processes

Motivational interviewing incorporates four processes: engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning. Engaging revolves around gathering information and establishing a trusting relationship. Focusing helps identify a specific agenda related to the client’s goals. Evoking involves using strategic questioning to encourage clients to move toward their goals. Planning is when the rubber hits the road; it’s the bridge to positive behavioral change.

Through these four processes, clients develop active listening and communication skills. They learn to ask and reflect on questions, affirm their positive changes and beliefs, and discuss their thoughts and feelings in an open-minded setting. When they use more positive communication and phrasing, clients start to manifest a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Motivational interviewing helps clients incorporate a more internalized or “intrinsic” sense of motivation, rather than being motivated from the outside. As they grow in their sense of autonomy and increase their self-reliance, they develop better self-esteem and more belief in their ability to effect change in their lives.

How Does Motivational Interviewing Support Addiction Recovery?

Motivational interviewing helps support addiction recovery as it is goal-driven. The client’s team works together to create a clear goal, then helps guide the client toward this goal. This is also a client-oriented counseling model of therapy where the team explicitly tells the client that any decision is in their hands. Rather than the client relying on the therapist or team to direct them, clients perform the psychological work on their own (even if they do not recognize they are doing so).

For addiction recovery, clients learn what their life goals and values are and analyze how their behaviors align (or do not align) with these goals. By establishing this in the beginning, clients can readjust and change their behaviors for optimal goal-achieving results. In other words, clients are fully in charge of their behaviors and learn to rely on themselves rather than on a therapist or substances.

Benefits of Motivational Interviewing

Aside from goal setting and achieving, clients who partake in motivational interviewing learn about themselves on a deeper level. As they are the ones in control, clients can reflect on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the present and past. They start to evaluate their actions and previously self-destructive behaviors. They learn to articulate their thoughts and feelings to others, which is important in the recovery process. Clients should be able to understand themselves to the extent of knowing when they need to reach out for help. They also need to be able to discuss their feelings with loved ones and grow a personal support system.

Motivational interviewing also helps clients celebrate small successes. In addiction recovery, small successes should be celebrated, but often they are not. Long-term abstinence is typically the biggest celebration and the ultimate goal. However, small victories such as abstinence for a short period of time or behavioral and lifestyle changes are still worthy of celebration. Motivational interviewing teaches clients that their small goals are worthy and a stepping stone in the long-term journey. Positive behavior changes are huge victories for those in addiction recovery.

Likewise, while celebrating these small goals, the pressure and overwhelming nature of recovery tend to diminish. Clients find that there is less pressure to feel instantly better after a period of abstinence. This more relaxed attitude helps them to take small steps in their journey and feel good about where they are at as they progress toward the finish line.

Here at Roots Recovery, we offer motivational interviewing for clients going through addiction recovery. Recovery can be an overwhelming process. However, incorporating mindfulness and client-oriented practices can lessen the pressure of this journey. Motivational interviewing uses mindfulness strategies to help clients set and achieve goals. Clients learn that these small goals are worth celebrating. This gives them the motivation to continue their addiction recovery journey. Motivational interviewing also provides clients with better communication and listening skills as well as a deeper understanding of themselves. They learn that they are in charge of their decisions and their lives. This helps them to create positive behavioral changes. To learn more about this service at Roots Recovery, contact us at (562) 473-0827.

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