One of the most challenging barriers to seeking help for addiction is that many people who suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD) have difficulty admitting it. It’s called denial, and it leads to ambivalence about help-seeking. There is still a lot of stigma around addiction, plus the idea of living without the drugs or alcohol on which a person depends is terrifying—even though that fear often does not make the connection for them that they have a problem. Coping mechanisms are there to protect people but often send them in the wrong direction at first. Motivational interviewing (MI) therapy helps people with an SUD change course by transforming denial and ambivalence into acceptance and motivation.
The addiction therapy programs at Apex Recovery Nashville are evidence-based and proven effective. Motivational interviewing therapy is one of the cornerstones of our approach to helping clients leave drugs and alcohol behind. To learn more about our MI therapy program, how it works, and what else we can do to support you as you begin recovery, call 615.703.4639 to speak to someone from our caring team or submit this online form to connect.
What Is Motivational Interviewing Therapy?
Developed by psychologist William R. Miller in the early 1980s, motivational interviewing remains a widely respected tool in treating addiction. Motivational interviewing therapy is based on collaboration and focuses on the individual. The goal is to find and strengthen a person’s natural motivation to change.
How do you find the path to your intrinsic motivation, which at first may seem lost amidst fearful emotions, dependence on a substance, anxiety, shame, and denial? The first step is to identify, explore, and resolve your ambivalence.
MI therapy is firmly based on the importance of empathy. Clinicians must approach clients in every situation with the utmost compassion and an understanding of their point of view. Only in a truly non-judgmental setting can a client face and resolve their denial and find their motivation to begin the work of recovery. The client, too, must learn not to self-judge, avoiding negative self-talk and fatalism in favor of hope, conviction, and self-compassion.
Motivational Interviewing Therapy in Nashville
At Apex Recovery, when you begin an MI therapy program, you will feel your internal inspiration and sense of purpose return to life. The therapists do not coax, guilt-trip, or push you into uncomfortable territory. The journey is yours, and the process depends on the fact that, when supported and addressed with compassion by knowledgeable professionals, you will find your intrinsic motivation to change.
What MI therapy is and is not:
- Collaboration, not confrontation – You and your therapist will develop rapport and trust. The therapist will not preach or inform from a posture of superiority but will, in collaboration with you, seek an understanding of what is true, what is possible, and what you choose.
- It elicits rather than imposes – The therapist will use conversation to draw out your ideas rather than impose beliefs on you. Facilitating your journey of self-discovery is the opposite of challenging or confronting you. As you find your motivation and skills to change, you do not have to wonder whose idea it was. Whatever you come up with will be all yours.
- It is based on your autonomy, not a therapist’s authority – You are the decider at every step. The therapist brings knowledge, information, and experience—but not opinions—into the relationship. As your therapist acts as a reflective listener, you will consider the options, make the choices, and find the way that works for you.
Motivational interviewing therapy is highly empowering to the client because, no doubt, it is driving the bus on that road to recovery. That is you behind the wheel.