Motivational Interviewing Therapy

Written in Treatment Therapy, Uncategorized On September 13, 2016

Motivational Interviewing Therapy San Diego

APEX Rehab


At APEX Rehab, we believe change is the basis of all recovery. That’s why we create an environment that’s conducive to change, starting with the way in which we work with each patient. We employ motivational interviewing as one step in the change process. This therapeutic approach is designed to explore the patient’s current behavior, help them articulate and understand the reasons they want to make a change, and help them throughout their journey in realizing they have the power to change.

A considerable body of scientific evidence supports the view that motivational interviewing (MI) improves the chances for a successful outcome of the recovery process, even when the patients enter rehab involuntarily. MI is about empathy and synchronizing the session with the client, without imposing anything – it is often said that MI is about meeting the patient where the patient is. Even when patients have low readiness for change, this approach can be the crucial introduction for later therapy.

MI is based on the patient’s strengths and their capacity to change harmful behavioral patterns. It focuses on ambivalence and fear of change as the two main barriers for a full recovery. Ambivalence is the patient’s internal struggle with respect to what they really want – their addiction could have brought them some benefits at some points in life, but at other points they felt that it was a harmful pattern. Ambivalence is at the base of every addiction and it’s not a denial or resistance.

These are the key principles of motivational interviewing in counseling:

·       Ambivalence is a natural component of addictions.

·       The patient and the counselor have to work together and both parties contribute.

·       Sessions characterized by empathy, support and direction provide the best conditions for change.  

Motivational interviewing has demonstrated the following benefits for rehabilitation therapy:

·       More patients choose to follow through the treatment program.

·       More patients participate actively in the treatment.

·       More treatments have successful outcomes.

·       More patients manage to avoid relapse for longer periods after the rehabilitation.

The main goal of motivational interviewing is for the patient to realize the discrepancy between their current situation, their past behavior and their hopes for the future. The counselor guides and supports the patient on the road to realizing how their behavior is different from how they would like to behave. This is done through raising the awareness of the consequences of their past actions and decisions. The therapist supports the patient to realize that the costs of their behavior outweigh any perceived benefits of the addiction.

By using motivational interviewing in alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego, APEX Rehab wishes to enhance the patient’s motivation, i.e. the probability they will start and adhere to the strategies for their change. 


Motivational Interviewing Therapy