Overcoming addiction solo is incredibly challenging. However, patients shouldn’t expect therapists to tell them what to do through every step of addiction recovery. Real and lasting recovery is far more likely if patients are involved in their own journey and get to add input along the way. That’s why Motivational Interviewing is part of the program at Gateway Foundation Joliet.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

a woman talks to a counselor during a motivational interviewing sessionMotivational Interviewing is a type of counseling or talk therapy that focuses heavily on the individual needs of the patient. Sometimes, addiction therapy can have a set protocol, and it pushes each patient to follow that schedule or plan. However, Motivational Interviewing is the opposite. There is no fixed plan, and the patient is heavily involved in their own recovery.

This starts with listening to patients. It validates their beliefs and their feelings, and it takes their histories and their concerns into account. This is entirely respectful and incredibly empowering, which is an excellent change for men and women who have struggled with addiction in the past. This therapy also always takes place in a one-on-one setting.

Partnership With Patients

There are four key elements to this motivational approach to recovery. The first is partnership. From the very first sessions, patients know that they are an important part of the process. They aren’t just being told what to do, and they have a lot of input.

To drive home the idea of partnership, therapists will ask patients many questions. This is important because therapists can use the information they learn to inform their treatment and therapy recommendations in the future. Therapists invite patients to participate in decision making, and they begin to discover that the whole therapy process is fluid and flexible.

Accepting the Patient Perspective

All patients have their own unique worldview. This will inform their history, their addiction and their goals for recovery. For example, a patient might be very spiritual or religious and want that to play a significant role in recovery. This is something that Motivational Interviewing can accommodate, as well as other worldviews, belief systems or opinions.

Many treatment approaches encourage patients to feel a certain way. They might say that feeling like a victim is counterproductive or that feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t help. However, in Motivational Interviewing, therapists don’t tell patients what to think. Instead, their own perspective is welcome, and there is no shame or judgment when being open and vulnerable.

Compassion For Individual Patients

Another key element of motivational interview methods is that they try to be as compassionate as possible toward patients. Therapists are kind to their patients and want them to feel comfortable and relaxed in each session. This isn’t about tough love, although therapists can push patients to focus on specific strategies. Instead, this is about finding a place of kindness and compassion during a challenging time of life.

Focus on Patient Suggestions and Ideas for Recovery

The person most familiar with your addiction is you. You are familiar with your triggers and your most effective coping mechanisms as well as the challenges you face on a daily basis. Therefore, you should also be responsible for making changes and developing ideas for your own recovery.

Through this form of therapy, therapists encourage patients to involve themselves in their own treatment plans. Patients can think of how they want to change and then come up with real, compelling reasons to make those changes. You might want to get sober for your parents, to pursue career goals or to rekindle a damaged relationship. These motivating factors are the best encouragement a person can have.

Overcoming Addiction at Gateway Foundation Joliet

Motivational Interviewing is just one form of addiction therapy that you can participate in at Gateway Foundation Joliet. Patients can look forward to comprehensive treatment plans that consider their own unique journeys. Some of the many therapies available during Outpatient Treatment include the following:

Gateway Foundation Joliet is a nonprofit treatment destination where you can overcome addiction. In fact, Motivational Interviewing is just one of the many strategies you can use on your journey to recovery. Take back control over your life and your future by calling 815.265.6734 today.