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Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse

Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse: What Is It? Resurgence - A man sits across from a physician who specializes in addiction treatment as he partakes in motivational interviewing for substance abuse.


What is Motivational Interviewing?

This is a therapeutic technique.

Its purpose is to understand addiction and substance use disorders in patients by addressing your strengths or motivation to becoming sober.

Immediate Placement in Rehab with Motivational Interviewing Techniques


Understanding Substance Abuse



There are three specific concepts for this type of therapy that make it different from other forms of treatment or therapy. 

  1. Sessions are called interviews. You should never feel confronted by a therapist. It should be a collaboration. 
  2. You create your own goals instead of being told your goals by a therapist.
  3. You should feel empowered. You will learn to be responsible for your actions and confident moving forward in treatment. It is your choice to stay sober and your life to live.

Learn More About Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse


The Four Processes:

This therapy uses four processes centered around you. These processes are to help you understand your goals and actively work towards them.

  1. Engaging: The therapist should get to know you and establish trust.
  2. Focusing: Come to a consensus on what the main goal is in recovery.
  3. Evoking: You should decide why you want to change.
  4. Planning: You must be willing to see change and state how you will manifest it.



OARS is an acronym that describes interpersonal communication skills used in motivational interviewing for substance abuse. OARS should create conversations and allow a good working relationship.

OARS stands for:

  • Open questions.
  • Affirming strengths.
  • Reflecting what the patient may want to express, but seemingly cannot.
  • Summarizing what has occurred throughout the session and the therapeutic interactions as a whole.

Asking Open questions refers to a motivational interviewing technique for substance abuse that recommends you become involved in all conversations about treatment. This might be asking ‘closed’ or fact-gathering questions, but you will be pushed to do most of the talking. Even though the therapist is there, they should not lead the conversation but instead, listen and make the atmosphere comfortable.
The Affirming step of motivational interviewing for substance abuse involves understanding your strengths. At this time in the therapy, the counselor should let you know what you are doing well. You should never need to defend yourself or your progress. This step should keep you open to self-examination and setting more goals.
There are two options for Reflecting in motivational interviewing for substance abuse: simple and complex. In either situation, your therapist will be understanding and empathetic. Reflections are essentially the therapist reiterating something you have said. Reflections allow you to understand how you come across and to see your true intention.
Summarizing in motivational interviewing for substance abuse is when the therapist will take everything that has been done so far, and share this information with you. This should help you to realize that you want to recover and get sober. Summaries help recognizes why you want to change.


Therapy Techniques in Substance Abuse Treatment

If you have attempted to go to treatment in the past, and it has not helped you become sober, motivational interviewing for substance abuse can be a great option. It is proven to be effective, especially for those who have already relapsed previously.

Motivational interviewing for substance abuse help to keep you accountable during treatment but also after treatment. Motivational interviewing for substance abuse can also help you foster a strong relationship with your counselor, rather than a professional and emotionless relationship.


Payment Information

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it? We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

Free Insurance Verification for Rehab That Has Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse


How to Get Help

Are you suffering from addiction?

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we understand your struggle with addiction.

Our caring staff is prepared to help you break the cycle.

Call 855-458-0050 to schedule your consultation.

Together, we will help you beat your addiction so you can live a healthier, happier, and addiction-free life.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.