Motivational Interviewing | Banyan

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse

As the name suggests, the purpose of motivational interviewing is to motivate the patient to change destructive behavior, such as substance abuse. Many facilities, such as our drug treatment centers, utilize motivational interviewing for substance abuse to encourage individuals with addictions to face their addictive behaviors and stick with their drug treatment programs. Our motivational interviewing for substance abuse at Banyan Treatment Centers is a great tool for stirring patients to recognize their addictions and get the help they need to change their lives for the better.

Key Components of Motivational Interviewing

  The motivational interviewing definition has evolved since William R. Miller originally publicized it in 1983, a technique which he developed from his experience in administering alcohol treatment. MI, or motivational interviewing, techniques for substance abuse have since been practiced and proven as a reliable and effective practice in rehab. Motivational interviewing focuses on exploring and resolving uncertainty and rousing motivational processes within the individual to facilitate change.

There are seven key components of motivational interviewing that our substance abuse treatment centers follow:

  • Motivation comes from the client, not from other sources.
  • The client is responsible for resolving their uncertainty or ambivalence, not the counselor.
  • Direct persuasion cannot resolve ambivalence or uncertainty; the person has to want to change.
  • The counselor quietly and gently elicits information from the patient.
  • The counselor guides the patient in recognizing their ambivalence and resolving it.
  • Readiness to change is a fluctuating result of interpersonal interaction; it’s not based on a trait.
  • The client-counselor relationship should be a partnership.


In addition to honoring these key components, our team also utilizes techniques like change talk, which is defined as statements by the client revealing motivation for or commitment to change. During motivational interviewing interventions, therapists seek to guide clients to expressions of change talk as the road to change. This is practiced based on the belief that the more someone talks about change, the more likely they are to change.

The different types of change talk can be described using the acronym DARN-CAT:

Preparatory Change Talk:

  • Desire (I want to change)
  • Ability (I can change)
  • Reason (It’s important to change)
  • Need (I should change)


Implementing Change Talk:

  • Commitment (I will make changes)
  • Activation (I am ready, prepared, and willing to change)
  • Taking Steps (I am taking specific actions to make these changes)


Our Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse at Banyan

  Our motivational interviewing techniques are heavily based on talk therapy and client-counselor discussions in which clients are asked open-ended questions, receive affirmations, and reflect on their sessions. Considering that this technique is heavily based on the person’s self-awareness regarding their drug or alcohol habits and needs to change, motivational interviewing and substance abuse treatment go hand in hand. When used in tandem with our inpatient drug treatment or other levels of addiction care, motivational interviewing offers patients the boost they need to either begin or continue their recovery journeys.

Motivational interviewing is a client-centered counseling model, which means that it focuses mainly on figuring out what the client wants instead of what the counselor thinks is best for them. MI is a relatively simple process that can be completed in a small number of sessions. Considering the many challenges addicts face, our motivational interviewing counselors are empathetic, reflective listeners, and each has the ability to form strong bonds with clients in a short period.

If you’re battling drug addiction or alcoholism, motivational interviewing can help you overcome the internal battle over whether you truly want to quit. For more information about MI and our other drug therapy programs offered at Banyan Treatment Centers, contact us today.



Most Insurance Plans Accepted

At Banyan Treatment Center our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.



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