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Motivational Enhancement Therapy


Motivational Enhancement Therapy or MET refers to a treatment program used in targeting substance abuse. MET employs motivational interviewing to analyze information acquired from the client. In addition, motivational interviewing aims at helping the individual overcome various undefined thoughts. Motivational enhancement therapy influences the individual to stop substance addiction and change their social conditions. In this scenario, a therapist will help the patient identify recovery goals and be committed to them.

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Principals of Motivational Enhancement Therapy


Motivational Enhancement therapy is based on the premise that a patient is responsible and capable of changing. In addition to that the therapy aims at helping a patient immobilize his or her inner resources.

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Motivational enhancement therapy has some basic principles:

  • Empathy expression
  • Avoiding argumentation
  • Supporting self efficacy
  • Rolling with change
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The individual is helped to develop motivation for change by developing the following:

  • Self-motivational statements
  • Questioning
  • Listening with empathy
  • Presenting personal feedback
  • Reframing
  • Handling resistance

The individual undergoes a number of sessions which address the pros and cons of drug abuse and is helped to identify where he or she wants to be. This aspect of the therapy aims at encouraging a patient to state his or her desired change goals.

It is worth noting that this is the first aspect of recovery. Motivational enhancement therapy enables individuals to address various substance abuse issues. The individual is helped to develop various methods aimed at helping him or her overcome addiction. An important point worth noting about motivational enhancement therapy is that it should be used with other interventions. One of the most common interventions that compliment MET is family therapy. Here the individual undergoes MET in the presence of his or her family members.

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The Effect of Motivational Enhancement Therapy


The effect of MET is dependent on the type of substance abused. Furthermore, the effect of Motivational Enhancement Therapy is dependent on the period that the substance has been abused. An important point worth noting is that this therapy should be provided to individuals in an enabling environment. The receptive atmosphere assists individuals to receive feedback from therapists. This feedback is important in strengthening the individual’s resolve to kick addiction.

The individual also feels that he or she has more self control. Instead of engaging the individual’s defensive mechanism, MET helps a person create positive affirmations and an inclination towards change. Once the individual achieves this state of mind, he or she is better placed to continue recovering.

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Many individuals who abuse drugs or alcohol, experience various emotional symptoms which include:

  • Moodiness
  • Resistance
  • Relational difficulties

Research shows that MET provides relief from these negative symptoms. This is because MET is an instrumental tool in helping individuals overcome negative behavioral patterns. Lastly, this therapy is flexible thus it can be used on individuals despite their levels of commitment.


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