Motivational Interviewing as a Treatment for Substance Abuse

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Motivational Interviewing as a Treatment for Substance Abuse Introduction "Motivational interviewing is an evidenced-based counseling approach that health care providers can use to help patients adhere to treatment recommendations. It emphasizes using a directive, patient-centered style of interaction to promote behavioral change by helping patients explore and resolve ambivalence" (Levensky et al., 2007). Motivational interviewing is a highly individualized therapeutic approach that is client centered and encourages clients to explore the reasons for any maladaptive behavior and then make changes. However, it is also a directed form of therapy, so that the counselor takes a more active role than in some forms of client-centered therapy. However, it is not a confrontational form of therapy; rather than engaging in hostile interactions with clients, the counselor takes an empathic approach and helps the client identify areas of ambivalence and make plans to change those areas. In this way, motivational interviewing can be considered a goal-directed therapy because it is not sufficient for the clients to gain understanding; they are also meant to make changes based on what they find. Furthermore, while the counselor may take a passive role in some therapeutic approaches, the counselor is more active in motivational interviewing. The counselor's job is to encourage the client to make changes. Motivational interviewing has been used in a variety of different areas
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