While motivation, in general, is a critical element in helping patients change their behavior during the recovery process, self-motivation is required for someone to overcome a substance use disorder (SUD). One of the best tools that can be used to help a patient become and remain self-motivated is the notion of motivational interviewing. 

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

According to SAMHSA, “Motivational interviewing (MI) is an effective, evidence-based technique for helping clients resolve ambivalence about behaviors that prevent change. The core goals of MI are to express empathy and elicit clients’ reasons for and commitment to changing substance use and other unhealthy behaviors.”

It is essential to understand and implement the four techniques and processes of MI during treatment. These processes form the acronym PACE: 

  • Partnership: The collaboration between the treatment provider and the patient
  • Acceptance: The act of the provider respecting and providing approval of the patient
  • Compassion: Actively promoting and prioritizing the patient’s needs and well-being
  • Evocation: Eliciting and exploring a patient’s existing motivations, values, strengths, and resources

Motivational interviewing is effective in helping patients stay in recovery. This type of counseling increases your patient’s participation and engagement in their treatment plan helps their chances of long-term recovery success and encourages them to seek immediate help in the event of a relapse. 

Importance of Motivation During Recovery 

Without self-motivation to change their behavior, someone with a SUD would never remain sober. Motivation to become better and improve one’s quality of life is one of the most critical steps in recovery. 

Patients must learn new coping mechanisms and self-care practices while developing the communication skills (with themselves and others) necessary to fully engage in their recovery process and commit to their long-term sobriety.

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Reasons Why Clients Need to Stay Motivated

Recovery is a lifelong commitment, and patients will need to stay motivated throughout their journey to stay sober. The approach treatment providers use with motivational interviewing is based on the principles of person-centered counseling. This approach encourages improvements in all areas of life — not just around the behaviors that led to the addiction. 

Motivation Encourages Goal Setting

Motivation is the driving force for patients to make changes in their lives. By inspiring patients to be self-motivated, providers are also helping them set goals and milestones to manage their recovery. 

One of the goals of motivational interviewing is to have the patient actively participate in figuring out solutions to their challenges. Having them set a goal — and helping them develop the steps to achieve that goal — will reinforce behavioral changes.

Setting goals inspires patients to continue moving forward even when they encounter obstacles. 

Motivation Inspires Self-Confidence

Motivational interviewing will help patients identify and resolve their concerns about changing their behavior. The more someone realizes that changing their behavior can result in positive outcomes, the more their confidence will increase. Positive changes also lead to improved self-image and self-confidence. 

Providers can help their patients to improve self-confidence by encouraging them to: 

  • Focus on self-forgiveness: Help your patients take responsibility for their actions to heal and move forward, focusing on their recovery goals.
  • Repeat positive affirmations: Encourage positive thoughts and self-talk designed to improve mood, build confidence, and motivate patients to keep moving forward.
  • Create a gratitude list: Writing down a gratitude list and reflecting on all of the positive things in their lives will let your patients know how much love and support surrounds them.

Motivation Makes Self-Care a Priority 

When patients take care of themselves, they feel better. The more they feel better, the more they want to take care of themselves. 

Self-care can center around activities that the client will enjoy, such as: 

  • Nutrition: Eating healthy and drinking enough water
  • Sleep: Getting the proper amount of sleep each night
  • Exercise: Consistently exercising or participating in some physical activity to help control depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Mindfulness: Activities that help patients stay in the present moment and become more self-aware
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It is essential that each patient is motivated to perform self-care during the recovery process. Patients that prioritize self-care during recovery will have a greater chance of success and an improved sense of well-being overall. This will help them strengthen their coping skills and make better, healthier decisions. 

At Hawaii Island Recovery, we have evidence-based clinical treatment modalities that can help your patients address and change their behaviors. Our outpatient and aftercare programs are geared towards addressing all aspects of substance abuse in a safe, supportive and structured environment. We are dedicated to helping everyone recover from addiction. 

Treatment providers must keep their patients motivated during recovery. Patients need to learn how to self-motivate to help them manage their long-term sobriety. Without self-motivation to change behavior, substance abuse clients would never remain sober. Motivational interviewing is one of the best tools providers can use. This type of motivational counseling increases your patient’s participation and engagement in their treatment. Recovery is a lifelong commitment, and patients will need to stay motivated throughout their journey to stay sober. Motivation from providers encourages a patient to set goals, inspires self-confidence, and helps make self-care a priority. For information on how we can help motivate your patient to change their behaviors to realize positive outcomes in their lives and remain sober — or if you need more information about our outpatient and aftercare treatment programs — call Hawaii Island Recovery today. You can reach us at (866) 390-5070, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

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