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December 8, 2022
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Motivational Interviewing in Addiction Treatment in Indianapolis, IN

December 8, 2022


Motivational Interviewing is a therapeutic technique used in substance abuse treatment in Indianapolis, IN, to strengthen a person’s motivation and dedication toward a specific goal, such as recovery and sobriety. This technique will essentially uncover your doubts and fears regarding the treatment and then work to replace them with healthier thoughts and habits. These methods are usually suitable for those people who want to recover from substance use but also feel that they are not strong enough to change. 

Lack of motivation is one of the main reasons why people struggling with addiction find it difficult to quit since they use drugs or alcohol as a crutch to deal with their issues or trauma. In addition to the financial costs, health problems, and legal consequences of substance abuse, the idea of living without can seem impossible. 

Motivational Interviewing is designed to help people overcome their fear of the unknown, thereby promoting their ambition to recover and go back to their normal life. 

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing in Addiction Treatment in Indianapolis, INMotivational Interviewing is a counseling technique used to motivate patients to change their negative and doubtful behaviors regarding recovery. The idea behind MI is that everyone dealing with addiction is somewhat aware of its negative consequences and that they currently have a certain level of willingness when it comes to changing their behavior. 

A motivational interviewing counselor speeds up the process of getting ready to accept change by overcoming the fear of change, increasing the person’s motivation. 

Fundamental Concepts of Motivational Interviewing

Three fundamental concepts make motivational interviewing different from the rest of the treatments. 

First, the therapy sessions are known as interviews, where a patient and their counselor come together and collaborate. 

Second, patients are pushed to set their own goals rather than the counselor imposing their pre-determined goals on them. This gives patients more flexibility and allows them to feel like they are in control of their journey, which makes the journey more fun and doable. 

Lastly, motivational interviewing gives patients more autonomy. Sometimes, going to addiction treatment can feel like a chore due to all the rules and strict schedules that patients have to follow closely, which can make them feel detached from their recovery process. 

MI ensures that patients always feel empowered and independent since the real ability to make changes lies within them. When they feel responsible for their actions and progress, they are more likely to remain sober and not fall prey to any relapses. 

Motivational interviewing does not focus on the root causes of addiction, like mental illnesses or trauma. It is mainly used as a supplemental technique combined with other types of therapy, such as CBT. It also plays a key role in residential programs and rehabs and acts as a pre-recovery treatment option in Indianapolis, IN. 

Additionally, MI is derived from different therapeutic theories and styles, such as cognitive dissonance theory, humanistic therapy, positive psychology, and therapeutic relationship building. It works best when combined with other treatments.

The Stages of Motivational Interviewing 

Motivational interviewing is intended to inspire change and is generally done in 4 processes to help patients identify their goals and build their action plans. These include:


Getting acquainted with the client and developing a respectful and trustworthy bond with them. This is the most critical part of MI as it lays the groundwork for future interaction and progress. Counselors and patients must form a relationship and work towards a patient’s self-set goals. Therapists must be empathetic and ensure that clients know the importance of collaboration for the success of the treatment. This quality reinforces the belief that the patient is in charge of the recovery process. Motivational Interviewing in Addiction Treatment in Indianapolis, IN


Patients usually seek substance abuse treatment for two main reasons. They have realized the harm done by drugs which made them want to change, or family members or a judge imposed it due to legal issues. Sometimes, patients may start treatment with specific goals and focus areas in mind. Other times, certain criteria must be met during the treatment, for example, in the case of a court-mandated rehab. However, most clients lack a sense of direction regarding their recovery. 

During this stage, therapists help patients decide what is important to them and what they wish to achieve from the treatment. The therapist then uses the given information to set the right tone for the sessions and helps patients find their willingness to change. 


The third process of MI involves understanding the patient’s reasons for achieving sobriety. After identifying their focus, a therapist must explain to the patient why they truly want to start their recovery journey. They must detect the patient’s slightest motivation to change and then bring attention to this motivator. This step is essential as it helps the patient know that change is possible and a lot easier than anticipated. 


The planning phase is the most integral part of motivational interviewing since it helps in long-term recovery. It involves the development of the right knowledge and skills so that patients can prevent a relapse before it goes out of hand. This involves providing them with the right tools so they always know who to reach out to or what coping mechanisms to use when things become difficult. 

During the planning stage of motivational interviewing, therapists teach valuable coping skills to the patient without undermining their autonomy. 

Is Motivational Interviewing Right for you?

Motivational interviewing is especially effective as a counseling tool for alcohol addiction. Studies show that since alcohol use is relatively more acceptable than the use of illicit substances, addicts find it harder to achieve sobriety. For this reason, MI can be more effective as it allows individuals to take charge of their recovery journey. 

Motivational interviewing plays an important role in substance abuse treatment in Indianapolis, IN, due to its directive and patient-oriented nature. It is designed to improve a person’s intrinsic motivation and give them enough freedom to control their own goals. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you can greatly benefit from MI as part of addiction treatment in Indiana.

We at Addiction Rehab Centers in Indianapolis, IN, offer different inpatient and outpatient programs that involve motivational interviewing combined with other therapies as part of the treatment. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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