Author: Alex Thompson

Motivational Enhancement Therapy: Uses, Benefits, Techniques

motivational enhancement therapy

All of the articles on PsychNewsDaily are written by our team of professional writers and editors. So far, we have discussed MET in the context of treating substance abuse because that is where it is most widely used. It had its origins in the MATCH Project, which was a longitudinal study of alcoholics and the treatments that worked best for them. Naturally, there are many ways to combat it, with treatments focusing on different aspects of behavior to regulate or encourage.

As it is rooted in the idea of self-motivation, those who seek help genuinely want it. It is also known by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to be one of the most cost-effective methods available. We may receive advertising fees if you follow links to promoted online therapy websites. Talking about assessment results and future plans is integral to the process. Join 550,000+ helping professionals who get free, science-based tools sent directly to their inbox. “When MET is done properly, the client and not the therapist voices the arguments for change” (Miller, 1992, p. 8).

The interventions that a practitioner chooses will reflect what stage of change the client is currently in. This assessment allows the practitioner to identify that state and create a program that meets the client where they are. Our Positive Psychology Toolkit©, which contains hundreds of evidence-based exercises and assessments, is a valuable resource for finding motivational interviewing tools. The client’s uncertainty toward change is seen as part of the process and not viewed as pathological.

The tools used in this phase are reviewing progress, renewing motivation, and redoing commitment. In recent years, addiction treatments have shifted away from punitive methods and abstinence protocols toward a focus on motivation and change-based interventions (Miller & Rose, 2009). If motivational enhancement therapy seems like it would be helpful, there are a number of different ways to find a MET therapist. Asking your doctor for a referral is also a great way to find a qualified therapist with training in this approach. When combined with cognitive behavior therapy, MET has also been shown to be useful for people with marijuana addiction. However, this approach may be less effective when it comes to other types of drugs including nicotine, heroin, and cocaine.

motivational enhancement therapy

While motivational enhancement therapy can be beneficial and effective for many people, that doesn’t mean that it is right for everyone or every situation. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, evidence suggests that the efficacy of this approach tends to be mixed when it comes to substances other than alcohol and marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MET can be beneficial because it helps people overcome their ambivalence about entering treatment and ending their substance use. Rather than directing people through a series of steps, MET is able to quickly help people develop the intrinsic motivation to work toward recovery.

A Motivational Enhancement Therapy Session

We’ve tried, tested, and written unbiased reviews of the best online therapy programs including Talkspace, BetterHelp, and ReGain. The addition of MET may help improve an individual’s treatment adherence, retention, and outcome. Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the “Everything Psychology Book.”

motivational enhancement therapy

Before beginning treatment, the therapist asks the patient to take some assessments to set to get a baseline for the therapist to work with. Motivational Enhancement Therapy, or MET, is a recently developed therapeutic method. Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist with expertise in MET.

The Goal of MET

MET therapy can be used alongside Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to help people with PTSD.[7] The results were especially promising in people with both PTSD and substance abuse disorders. Often applied to substance use issues, MET can be applied to other problems such as gambling disorders, eating disorders, and PTSD. Finding a provider and talking about how MET can help you reach your goals is the first step. Specifically, MET is effective with people using alcohol and cannabis.

  1. The interventions that a practitioner chooses will reflect what stage of change the client is currently in.
  2. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is an intervention and counseling approach specifically designed to evoke internally motivated change.
  3. By Kendra Cherry, MSEdKendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the “Everything Psychology Book.”
  4. Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free.
  5. MET focuses on increasing intrinsic motivation by raising awareness of a problem, adjusting any self-defeating thoughts regarding the problem, and increasing confidence in one’s ability to change.

Motivational enhancement therapy differs from motivational interviewing (MI), another client-centered therapy aimed at changing behavior. MI takes a broader approach to behavior change, while MET focuses on the evaluation, feedback, and action steps. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a directive, person-centered approach to therapy that focuses on improving an individual’s motivation to change. Motivational Enhancement Therapy can also be coupled with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) when appropriate, for an ideal and holistic treatment approach. The Smithers Center is a specialized service offered by ColumbiaDoctors that provides treatment for those who are looking to change their substance use and have co-occurring mental health conditions.

Why would I consider MET?

This is critical in addiction recovery because although the knowledge that change is necessary may be there, motivation can be difficult to access because the draw of the substance is so strong. It’s critical that a client really identifies for themselves how their lives would be positively affected by the change. If the client doesn’t believe they can change, they may meet their discrepancy crisis with defensive coping. This will allow the client to reduce the discomfort brought on by the discrepancy without creating change – an understandable behavior.

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. By focusing on internally motivated change, motivational enhancement therapy (MET) helps people overcome their addictions through 4 targeted therapy sessions. It’s important to know that MET is an intervention that uses individual sessions. You can expect to complete various substance use assessments that will provide insight for you and the healthcare provider.

It has been shown to be particularly effective when an individual has a strong resistance to change or is not strongly motivated to change. An example of this is in the case of substance abuse, as individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol may often find it difficult to stop using due to the reinforcing effects of these habits. MET’s focus on rapid change also makes it suitable for cases where the therapist has only limited contact with an individual. Making changes in your life can be difficult and can cause insecurity. You may not know where to start or feel confident in your ability to maintain the steps you take.

This article will describe the history and process of this therapy and discuss some training opportunities. Diagnostic labels that convey a sense of powerlessness over the problem are avoided, while personal choice and control are emphasized. A therapist trained in MET can often help an individual to view behaviors more objectively, and through MET, an individual may become empowered to begin the process of change.

It is important during the MET process that the client not be put into a defensive posture. Argument and pressure from the therapist may create this and can break down the trust that was established. It is a structured and goal-directed form of therapy with the overarching aim of enhancing motivation in the client. MET is endorsed by the US military for those with alcohol problems because it is so effective. More sessions can be built in to discuss adjustments to the plan, as well as to plan against (and recover from) any relapses.

Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) works by helping addicted people learn how to change their own thoughts and behaviors. MET is effective at engaging individuals in treatment and helping them reduce substance use. This may be surprising, but it is heartening to know that even just four well-structured and targeted sessions with a client can have a lasting impact. MET shows that the techniques of respect, empathy, and compassion can go a long way toward creating health in our clients. The exercise also provides worksheets and questions for each of the techniques. This is an invaluable tool for eliciting motivation in a client and providing support for change.