Motivational Interviewing vs. Motivational Enhancement Therapy

You may have a few questions if you’ve been researching and reading rehab-related resources. For example: What is motivational interviewing? What is MET or motivational enhancement therapy? What is the difference between the two? How do they fit into an addiction recovery process?

If you are looking for answers to these questions, seeking information about addiction treatment, or considering motivational enhancement therapy services in Denver, Colorado, look no further than Mile High Recovery Center. Our staff provides cutting-edge, evidence-based therapies and addiction treatments to those who seek recovery from drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. Get your questions answered by calling Mile High Recovery Center at 303-268-2144.

Motivational Interviewing vs. Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Motivational interviewing (MI) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET) are both geared toward enhancing intrinsic motivation to change behavior—such as moving away from drug or alcohol abuse. They are both founded on the idea that change, to be lasting, must come from within oneself.

MI came first, and MET is an offshoot that’s a more narrowly focused therapeutic approach. MET uses the same principles on which MI is based.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

MI is a short-term, person-centered clinical approach used to work with clients suffering from addiction but ambivalent about taking steps to change. MI helps them find and recognize their intrinsic desire for change and supports them as they strengthen their resolve and motivation.

Based on empathy and collaboration, MI typically takes less than four sessions. Therapists do not act as authorities who can instruct clients on what to do, teach missing skills, or provide insight. Insight isn’t really insight unless it comes from within, just like motivation.

What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

MET uses the therapeutic style of motivational interviewing with a little more feedback and individual assessment by the therapist. This modality is primarily used for clients with higher ambivalence who are more resistant and wary about addiction treatment.

The lower the clients’ motivation, the more effective MET will be for them. It is designed to help clients find or create their intrinsic motivation and embark on a journey of change entirely fueled from within themselves.

What Do MI and MET Share?

MI and MET share more similarities than they have differences.

Because internal drive and change are the core value of MI and MET, these therapies have success rates after four sessions commensurate with a 12-session cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) course of treatment. With support from their treatment teams at their respective rehab centers, it is up to clients to decide what direction their addiction treatment should take—whether via MI, MET, or another type of intervention.

MET and MI both:

  • Focus on the client’s motivation, effectiveness, path, choices, and method of change
  • Are provided by therapists with superb counseling skills such as reflective listening
  • Depend on a non-authoritarian therapist role and an empowered client role
  • Are based on the idea that resistance is normal and is accepted as such
  • Make use of open and evocative, non-judgmental questions
  • Require the therapist to approach the client with empathy throughout the process
  • Avoid all negativity in sessions, focusing only on affirmation
  • Evoke and strengthen what’s called the client’s change talk—statements revealing an inner motivation to change

The question might not be about the differences—i.e., motivational interviewing vs. motivational enhancement therapy—but the similarities. Because the two are so similar and aligned, based on the same principles and concepts, with shared goals, MI and MET are often offered in rehab centers so that clients can benefit from whichever is best suited to their needs.

Consider MI and MET Services at Mile High Recovery Center

If you are still curious about motivational enhancement therapy vs. motivational interviewing, reach out to Mile High Recovery Center, where we can explain how MI and MET services work, how to access them, and why they are so effective.

In addition to MI and MET, we offer numerous evidence-based treatments for addiction recovery. Find out more about Mile High Recovery Center, our MI and MET services, and more here in Denver, CO, by calling 303-268-2144.

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