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Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is an intervention and counseling approach specifically designed to evoke internally motivated change. MET is often combined with other forms of counseling for those struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD) , such as the 12-Step treatment method.
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) works by helping addicted people learn how to change their own thoughts and behaviors.
After an initial assessment, MET is comprised of 4 targeted treatment sessions. Each session is personalized to the need of the individual. Early sessions focus on evaluating information from the initial assessment and setting goals for the future. Later sessions provide the patient with perspective and positive reinforcement for staying sober.
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When someone checks into a drug rehab center, they are evaluated to determine their treatment needs. Physicians typically monitor a patient’s vital signs and the body’s changes during withdrawal from the drug. MET therapists then work with patients to help change their thoughts and behaviors related to drug use.
MET also helps treats co-occurring mental disorders. Co-occurring mental health issues are common in addicted people because both disorders can be affected by imbalanced brain chemistry. MET can help treat addiction and a co-occurring disorder at the same time to prevent future relapse.
Some co-occurring conditions MET treats include:
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There are 5 critical elements of MET that patients and therapists will work through. These are strategies that have been found to encourage feelings of motivational change in those suffering from drug addiction.
Patients are encouraged to learn and develop empathy to learn how their actions affect others. This can be used as a motivational factor for change. Empathy also helps to establish a trusting relationship between a patient and therapist.
Patients often have some resistance to treatment and must come to terms with the fact that there is a gap between where they think they are and where they actually are. Recognizing this gap can be eye-opening and can help to elicit feelings of self-motivation to change.
Therapists won’t argue with their patients about the degree of their drug or alcohol abuse. Patients are encouraged to have a positive response and outlook on MET.
MET helps addicted people work through their resistance to addiction treatment. Therapists engage with patients on a personal level, helping them realize how their behaviors are impacting their goals and relationships.
Those in treatment must believe in their ability to achieve their goals. MET teaches patients they have the power to overcome addiction and to strive towards their life goals. Therapists encourage positive thoughts and behaviors that reinforce the concept of self-efficacy.
MET is often used as part of a complete addiction treatment program with several other behavioral therapies, including 12-step programs and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). These therapies use specific techniques to guide patients through behavioral change. For example, CBT focuses primarily on teaching patients coping strategies for stress, while 12-step programs outline specific steps to help those in need get and stay sober.
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If you or someone you love is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, we can help. Many inpatient and outpatient drug rehabs understand the need for mental health counseling during addiction treatment. Finding the motivation to get — and stay — sober can be a critical piece to long-term recovery. To find a treatment facility, contact a treatment provider today.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional
A survivor of addiction himself, David Hampton is a Certified Professional Recovery Coach (CPRC) and a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).
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