Therapeutic Methods
Motivational Interviewing

At The Plymouth House we utilize a range of evidence-based therapies, including motivational interviewing (also known as MI). MI draws inspiration from a number of other psychotherapies including therapeutic relationship building, cognitive dissonance theory, humanistic change therapy and positive psychology. The guest and the therapist work together in a collaborative effort, ultimately correcting any ambivalence towards recovery the guest is feeling and working to develop a viable plan of action. The therapist employs a number of “interviewing” skills geared towards helping the guest identify personal goals and work towards lasting change. As part of our therapeutic program we also utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and more. To learn more about The Plymouth House and the therapeutic techniques we frequently employ in an individual and group setting, contact us today.

Motivational Interviewing Skills & Processes

Motivational interviewing combines a unique set of skills with a series of processes that the therapist and guest move through.

MI Skills Used by Our Therapists:

  1. Asking open-ended questions – These questions are intended to be thought-provoking and cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” The therapist might ask things like, “How would you like to see your current circumstances improve?” Or, “How do you feel about the nature of your relationship with your parents in the context of your substance abuse issues?”
  2. Offering positive affirmations – It is important that the strengths of each guest are recognized and positive behaviors are enforced. If a guest receives no acknowledgement when they do something well, they will have little motivation to continue making positive choices. We highlight the strong points of each guest, making remarks like, “It took a lot of courage to do that,” and, “You handled yourself with a lot of poise and grace in that situation.”
  3. Engaging in reflective listening – This is an important tool that shows the guest the therapist is listening and staying engaged. After the guest finishes a thought, the therapist repeats the main points and allows the guest an opportunity to clarify or make corrections.
  4. Summarizing what has been discussed – At the end of the MI session the therapist summarizes the conversation using three tools: collecting, linking and transitioning. Collecting reinforces the main points the guest has made, linking entails making verbal connections between one part of the discussion and another, and transitioning entails wrapping up the topic discussed in one session and moving on to a new topic.

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The therapist and the guest move through the following processes, though they do not need to be carried out in any specific order to be effective.

  • Engaging – The therapist actively engages with the guest for the duration of the session.
  • Focusing – The discussion is focused on one specific topic.
  • Evoking – The therapist works to evoke a sense of self-confidence in the guest.
  • Planning – Future MI sessions and treatment goals are mapped out.

Motivational interviewing is driven by a partnership between the client and the therapist, acceptance of current circumstances, compassion for self and for others and evocation, or mindfulness. The guest learns how to draw on their own strengths to improve their circumstances and acknowledges that they have all the tools and skills necessary to evoke positive change in their lives.

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Benefits of Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is highly successful and widely used in addiction treatment programs across the country. The benefits of MI are extensive.

Benefits of MI:

  • Helping the guest build self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Helping the guest understand that they have the skills necessary to maintain sobriety.
  • Reducing the risk of relapse.
  • Helping the guest become more receptive to the overall treatment program.
  • Teaching the guest they are in charge of their own behaviors and responsible for the outcome.
  • Showing guests they have the power to change the course of their own lives.

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Gain Motivation

While this therapeutic technique has the potential to benefit anyone regardless of their circumstances, it is especially beneficial to those who are initially opposed to treatment. At The Plymouth House we believe that treatment does not initially have to be desired in order to be effective. Many of our guests, especially young adults, gain the motivation needed to stay sober over time.

Motivational interviewing therapy

How Effective is Motivational Interviewing?

Exactly how effective is this widely utilized therapeutic technique? Motivational interviewing has been around for quite some time; in fact, it was first introduced in the early 1980s. Because of this, numerous studies have been conducted on its efficacy. One article titled “Motivational interviewing and addiction – A psychodynamic appreciation,” states that there is an ample amount of psychosocial evidence supporting the benefits of motivational interviewing for the treatment of substance abuse and dependence.

Another article titled Motivational Interviewing for adolescent substance use: A review of the literature,” found that out of 39 reviewed studies, roughly two-thirds of medical professionals noted significant reductions in adolescent substance use among their clients in direct relation to motivational interviewing techniques. MI has proven effective for the treatment of drug abuse and alcoholism. To learn more about this specific technique and the other therapies we commonly employ, contact us today.

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    Additional Therapeutic Techniques

    In addition to motivational interviewing we offer:

    • Cognitive Behavioral TherapyCBT has been proven to improve cognitive functioning while leading to an overall better quality of life. CBT is based on several core principles, which revolve around the impact that negative thought patterns and subsequent behavioral patterns have on the way that people function and interact with the world around them.
    • Dialectical Behavior TherapyDBT was originally developed to help people struggling with persistent and unhealthy emotions and related behavioral patterns — specifically people who had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Healthy relationships are a fundamental part of DBT, and learning how to develop and maintain healthy relationships often begins with the relationship formed between the guest and his or her DBT practitioner.
    • Eye Movement Desensitization and ReprocessingEMDR was initially developed for people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The therapeutic method is guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model, which considers the symptoms of unresolved trauma a direct result of disturbing memories that were never adequately processed. This model suggests that once a memory has been processed, the symptoms resolve and the person in question no longer engages in self-destructive behavioral patterns resulting from the trauma.

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    At The Plymouth House we combine proven therapeutic techniques, holistic modalities and the 12-Step method of addiction recovery to provide our guests with a whole-person approach to healing. Because addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all process, it is a good idea to provide guests with a range of techniques; one therapy might be extremely beneficial for one person, and another therapy might prove to be life-changing for someone else. If you or someone you love is ready to heal thoroughly and take the first step towards beginning an entirely new way of life, contact us today. We have developed an admissions process that is simple, straightforward and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. During our initial phone call you will be put in touch with one of our knowledgeable Treatment Advisors, who conducts a brief addiction assessment. This assessment helps our clinical team determine which level of care is best-suited for you or your loved one. Once the assessment is complete we go over potential coverage options and arrange transportation to our New Hampshire rehab facility. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any additional questions you might have.

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