Motivational Interviewing for Addiction Recovery
Motivational interviewing was developed by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick in 1983 and was first implemented in the field of mental health. The method was originally born from issues surrounding one-sided conversations about change. The two mental health professionals noticed the more advice and suggestions were piled on a person who was struggling with an issue, the more resistant and rebellious that person became. This is especially true of people struggling with addiction. In a traditional talk therapy environment the patient and the therapist play very specific roles. The patient needs help, and the therapist is the authoritative voice, repeatedly saying things like, “I suggest you do this,” or, “You should avoid doing this.”
During motivational interviewing sessions, however, the client and the therapist work collaboratively. The therapist uses a variety of techniques designed to facilitate open conversation and help the client come to their own conclusions. Autonomy and self-efficacy are supported, and the therapist supports the client by reinforcing personal ability. Over time, clients learn they have the ability to change their own behaviors for the better. They tap into a place of personal strength as they continue developing healthy coping mechanisms, and they begin to develop a vital sense of self-esteem.