Motivational Interviewing

Motivation for behavioral changes is one of the many key elementary factors in building the bridge to promote change within a client. The purpose of providing motivational change within a client is to seek a way to connect with the client that will steer the desire for self change and the need to move forward; seeking treatment and develop an open mind to different methods in establishing recovery from addiction. The opinions in levels of motivation have changed in the field of addiction treatment over the last 70 years. Once thought that only the client could self generated the motivation to create change their behavior took a new light as treatment evolved. In the newer thought of motivation the therapist has a larger impact on whether the client will take the initial step into treatment. Through the counselors vocal and body language he can produce or encourage the client to seek change (Motivational Interviewing: A Tool for…; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment …). This is accomplish through proper reflection and tone of voice, demonstrating a genuine care for the client, and present a framed message the client can extract and internalize for movement in change. Counselors require unique skills in treating addiction. For a counselor to create behavioral changes through motivation, a counselor must be open to try various styles and techniques in approaching his client or in the method of treatment. Some clients may demonstrate an inept ability to manage their own life and require a counselor to be direct and instructional in managing a client’s care. Some client may only require a counselor to have a positive demeanor and openness free of judgment to process their recovery. An article published by the American Psychological Association entitled “To Motivate Health Behavior, It’s Often Not What You Say, But how you say it”. This simple phrase may be self explanatory, but it takes diligent work at presenting your vocal and body language in such a manner that it meets a clients needs. In the article it notes the importance of framing a message that can connect with a client. The message should be presented without negative, but reinforcing the reward aspect of the message (“Website,” n.d.).    A counselor should have a genuine interest in others and understand that they will undergo extensive frustration in counseling clients through the addiction recovery. A deep desire to help others can greatly benefit a counselor and create a connection with a client (“Why Is Behavior Change So Hard?,” n.d.). As the client succeeds so does the counselor through the client triumphs. This becomes a form of self fulfillment through genuine interests. In addition a method of self reflection will be needed to aid a counselor in performing their duties to others. A counselor must know when to reflect upon their actions and advice, as well as to whether or not they are leading the client in the right direction. A counselor must make regular assessment to determine if the method of treatment is effective and if the client is responding appropriately to it. Another skill that a counselor should possess is the ability to listen at different levels. As a client is discussing their life, how they got to this stage in their life, daily occurrence, and a way forward, the counselor must not only hear what is being communicated but also look for underlying messages that client is sending them. It is often the unsaid or subtle messages that are delivered are the ones the client most wants us to hear (“6 Critical Skills Every Counselor Should Cultivate | Lesley University,” n.d., “Website,” n.d.). Unconditional Positive Regard should be considered an essential skill in creating motivational behavioral changes. A counselor who demonstrates kindness, caring, nurturing, and acceptance can elicit change within the patient in this approach, we are non judgmental or critical of the client, we provide mutual respect to our clients, understanding that in the end the client has strengths and is campaigning to drive achievement for themselves. Lastly, a counselor will need to show concreteness in their communication. They will need to ensure they stay on topic and focused on the specific message, treatment, and an end goal. In this skill the counselor needs to focus on feelings and facts that are associated with the driving reason for treatment (“6 Critical Skills Every Counselor Should Cultivate | Lesley University,” n.d., “[No title],” n.d.-a, “Website,” n.d.).Low client motivation is a reality of addiction treatment process. Often clients lack the desire to generate change for themselves and the loved ones around them. Frequently this leaves the counselor looking for various method in which they can connect with the client to stir a desire to change. Often clients of low motivation fail to see a need for change in their lives.Typically by the time a client has come to counseling they have developed an addiction that has altered their thought process, directly impacting their critical thinking and reasoning skills. In addition they have become absent from the emotional impact that their addiction has on those around. A client may not see that they have a problem due to the altered thinking and absents of their surrounding to clearly determined their situation (“[No title],” n.d.-b, “Why Is Behavior Change So Hard?,” n.d.). Another thought on low motivation could be the frequency of substance abuse and the euphoric feel they have as they become situated from abuse. As the high diminishes the client feels the mental and physical symptoms of withdraw. Through unwillingness to go through the sobering state repeats the process of substance abuse. The client may feel the cycle can not be broken and that there is little hope for change or higher achievements in life. A final thought would be past experience the client has had with counseling and rehabilitation. A client may have come into contact with a string of counselors that poorly communicated with them. Language both body and vocal can make all the difference in whether a client will make a connection and create an open dialogue were a bond can begin to develop. A counselor, therapist, or psychologist that has poor communication skills will have little hope in creating change in a client, nor a willingness to pursue treatment in its various process. Motivational Interviewing is a method in which a counselor can spark behavior changes within a client. In this technique a counselor will use a client centered approach to garden behavioral changes through ambivalence and exploration. This method started as a way to treat alcohol abuse and expanded to other forms of addiction treatment. There are five stages of readiness for change that the counselor must guide the client through under the motivational interviewing method. Precontemplation in which the client fails to recognize there is a problem. “I can stop using when every I want, I’m not addicted.”. In the follow stage, Contemplation the client identifies that he has a recurring issue that should plausibly be addressed and is considering treatment or life changes. “Perhaps I’ve been using to much, my children are always avoiding me, maybe my life will change if I get help.”. Once this stage is reached the clients initiates action in their life. The client identifies that he does have a problem and that treatment or behavior changes are needed and begins the process. As treatment progresses the client has begun to adapt new behavioral changes to their regular routines and enters into the maintenance stage of consistently (as much as possible) of employing his new behavior into his life. As with many things in life we fall back upon our old habits and so relapse is a natural aspect of the recovery process. Relapse should not be looked down upon nor as a sign of failure, but a stop on the road in maintaining regular sobriety. “Why did I use meth again, I have to much to live for and too many people depending on me.” (“Motivational Interviewing: A Tool for Behavior Ch)

Reference6 Critical Skills Every Counselor Should Cultivate | Lesley University. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2019, from Interviewing: A Tool for Behavior Change – ACOG. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2019, from[No title]. (n.d.-a). Retrieved September 22, 2019, from[No title]. (n.d.-b). Retrieved September 22, 2019, from (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2019, from Is Behavior Change So Hard? (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2019, from Psychology Today website:

Published by stmd1980

Hi, and thank you for joining me on my new site. Here I want to take time to discuss different aspects of Mental Health that I have observed over the last 17 years. I wanted to use this blog as an opportunity to discuss research, personal experience, and though the comment section have you the reader share your personal experience with mental health either yours or in a support role for your loved ones. Here on this form I will be targeting topic such as personality disorders, Autism, addiction, and other such aspect that effect many of us throughout the course of our lives. It is my hope through sharing information we can learn from each other.

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