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Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is an evidence-based treatment modality that has shown to be effective for individuals who may be hesitant, uncertain, or reluctant about beginning treatment for alcohol or drug use, dependence, and addiction.

As the name implies, MET enhances the motivation to begin recovery to overcome a substance use disorder. This therapy approach works well when combined with other therapies.

Oro House uses Motivational Enhancement Therapy in our Los Angeles and Malibu treatment centers for clients who are indecisive about beginning a recovery program. It is a practical and powerful tool for inspiring individuals to positively change their past behaviors.

what is motivational enhancement therapy

What is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is a client-centered therapy that promotes an individual’s motivation to change self-destructive behaviors. It also allows them recognize that these behaviors exist and changing them would be beneficial.

MET is a one-on-one therapy between the client and therapist, and usually takes place in only four to six sessions. It uses techniques that are very similar to Motivational Interviewing.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is most successful when it’s utilized in a treatment environment and coupled with additional modalities. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually one of the most responsive modalities to which MET is paired.

It is quite effective for treating addiction or dependence to alcohol, marijuana, and sometimes heroin or opiates.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy Principles

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is based on the following 5 motivational principles to help guide the therapist when working with a client during therapy sessions:

  • Express Empathy
  • Develop Discrepancy
  • Avoid Argumentation
  • Roll With Resistance
  • Support Self-Efficacy

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How Does Motivational Enhancement Therapy Work?

The MET therapist engages in approximately four to six sessions with the client. The first session is an assessment, and discusses the client’s use, and the extent of the client’s level of comfort.

The therapist does not push the client. This can put the client on the defensive and may immediately negate the opportunity for openness and becomes counter-productive to getting therapeutic work done. This is especially important given this modality is done in only a few sessions.

Pushing the client may elicit a defensive response and immediately close him or her off from the therapist, rendering this short form of therapy ineffective.

MET sessions allow the therapist to supportively engage the client with feedback from the initial assessment, and help the client formulate reliable coping strategies based on the results from the assessment.

From there, the therapist guides the client toward an opportunity to create change, construct tangible goals, and set in motion plans to alter risky behaviors.

The goals and action plans are based on information the client has disclosed in the initial assessment, as well as what they’ve subsequently shared about their substance use.

The Focus of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

With MET’s focus on goal making, the therapist is able to guide the client to work directly toward a specific, set goal. This gives the client an opportunity to succeed at realistic short and long-term goals, as well as interests that are not related to substance use.

This type of therapy allows the client to self-assess their situation and weigh the pros and cons of their drug or alcohol use.

He or she analyzes the positive aspects of their substance use from their own perspective.

The MET therapist uses a non-judgmental and non-challenging approach to encourage the client to recognize how their substance use might have had less positive aspects on their life or situation.

The guidance itself should be positive without pushing the client or alienating them. This also allows the client to move toward recognizing their own abilities and often leads to the client directly adopting self-motivating statements, which is an important aspect of the therapy.

Over the course of these sessions, the MET therapist continues to mark and monitor the client’s progress, review strategies, note the client’s capabilities, and share with the client their forward motion, promoting everything that is seen as progress.

From this perspective, there is a good chance of success because set goals are not only recognized, but also tangible, achievable, and discussed immediately as they occur.

The Oro House Approach

At Oro House, we tailor our comprehensive treatment plans toward our clients based on each person’s individual needs. We see our clients as the unique people they are, and not in terms of statistics.

Our goal is to give our clients a comprehensive plan of action, allowing for a greater opportunity for success in their pursuit of a life based on health and well being.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is just one of many treatment therapies we have found to be successful for our clients and it complements our Compassionate Care Model® of treatment as an essential part of healing and recovery.

We are licensed by the California Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS), Joint Commission Accredited, and recognized as one of the Best Addiction Treatment Centers in California and the United States in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 by Newsweek.

Find out about other Oro House Treatment Modalities.

Call us at (888) 595-0235 to find out more about Motivational Enhancement Therapy in Malibu and Los Angeles, California.