Motivational Enhancement Therapy in St. Pete Beach


Addiction never impacts just one person. We utilize group therapy in St. Pete Beach, FL to help clients and their families find healing, growth, and sustainable recovery. Compulsive substance abuse can affect children, spouses, parents, close friends, and many others. Loved ones can also play a vital role in helping a person achieve long-term recovery. But this is unlikely to occur until everyone receives the professional attention they deserve. At Transformations by the Gulf, we understand the importance of treating the whole person.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy for Addiction in St. Pete Beach


Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a directive, person-centered approach to therapy that focuses on improving an individual’s motivation to change. Those who engage in self-destructive behaviors may often be ambivalent or have little motivation to change such behaviors, despite acknowledging the negative impact of said behaviors on health, family life, or social functioning.

What to Expect During Motivational Enhancement Therapy in St. Pete Beach


The main objective of MET is to assist individuals in addressing their ambivalence or resistance to behavior change. MET aims to enhance intrinsic motivation by raising awareness of the issue, challenging self-defeating thoughts about the issue, and boosting confidence in one’s capacity to change. Rather than pinpointing a problem and instructing the individual in therapy on how to address it, the therapist encourages them to make self-motivating statements that demonstrate a clear comprehension of the problem and a determination to change.

MET is based on five motivational principles that are designed to guide the therapist’s work with an individual in therapy:

  • Express empathy: Therapists create a supportive environment in order to help an individual feel accepted and respected, and they engage in reflective listening rather than direct confrontation. The therapist will listen to what an individual is saying and then reflect it back, with slight but deliberate modifications. The modifications both let the individual know that the therapist has heard and understood and encourage the individual to elaborate.
  • Develop discrepancy: In MET, the therapist directs attention toward the discrepancy between an individual’s desired state of being and that individual’s actual state of being. This discrepancy may help aid in recognizing the ways that current behaviors hinder one from achieving goals, and it can also provide a strong incentive for behavior change.
  • Avoid argumentation: A therapist will avoid attacking an individual or an individual’s behavior, as this is thought to result in defensiveness and resistance. Other, gentler methods are used to raise awareness of any problems, and any statements regarding a need for change should come from the individual, not the therapist.
  • Roll with resistance: Instead of directly confronting any resistance on the part of the individual, the therapist tries to defuse it, often through reflective listening or by simply going along with what an individual is saying. This approach may seem counterintuitive, but it decreases the odds of further defensiveness and may make it more likely that an individual will remain in therapy and benefit from other aspects of the intervention.
  • Support self-efficacy: One’s motivation to change typically depends not only on the reasons for modifying behavior but also on the belief that one is able to perform the tasks required for change. One aspect of a therapist’s role is to help individuals become aware of their ability to successfully undertake the actions needed for change.

Benefits Motivational Enhancement Therapy in St. Pete Beach


Motivational Enhancement Therapy is applicable regardless of an individual’s commitment level. It has demonstrated particular effectiveness when an individual exhibits strong resistance to change or lacks strong motivation to change. For instance, in the context of substance abuse, individuals struggling with drug and alcohol misuse may find it challenging to break these habits due to their reinforcing effects. MET’s focus on rapid change also makes it suitable for situations where the therapist has limited contact with the individual. Additionally, the nonconfrontational and nonjudgmental style adopted by therapists makes MET an effective approach in treating adolescents dealing with identity issues and/or striving to assert their independence.

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