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Motivational Interviewing

What is addictive behavior? What therapy techniques are available to people who are suffering from addiction? Motivational interviewing is one alternative available to addicts today. This paper will define addiction and perhaps shed a light on how motivational interviewing can be seen as an option for the treatment of addiction, as well as open the door to a new way of therapy for addiction counselors.
By defining addiction, one sees the psychological effects, as well as the physical effects drugs and alcohol can portray in a individual's life. Addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on a substance or behavior. It begins by using something to feel good. The addiction seems to “help” the person to avoid painful feelings. Over time, the person feels less pleasure, and more addicted. Eventually, the addiction leads to a feeling of “I don’t care, as long as I can…”, even when the effects are devastating to the addicted person or others. (Arnot Ogden Medical Center, 1998)
So, the next step is to come up with some sort of technique in order to help someone climb out of ruts of addiction. In order to leave behind the addictive behavior, as well as the consequences of the addictive behavior, a person must in a way, change the behavior they exhibit. With this, motivational interviewing comes into play.
The most current and up-to-date definition of motivational interviewing is that it is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence(Wagner & Conners, 1999). Now, one might ask what ambivalence is. Ambivalence is defined as simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action. In this case, alcohol or drugs. Because this particular approach of therapy is more focused and goal-oriented, the resolution of ambivalence to the alcohol or the drug is very important.
The co…

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