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Humanistic Therapy and Motivational Interviewing for Addiction Recovery

Humanistic Therapy and Motivational Interviewing for Addiction Recovery

A 2017 National Institute on Drug Abuse survey found about 20.7 million people aged 12 and over needed treatment for substance use dependency in the previous year. However, only about 12 percent of those identified received any treatment.

This is especially damaging as addiction treatment incorporates a wide variety of emotional, mental, and physical support, helping clients recover in many different areas of their lives, not just in their addiction.
Some of these therapies focus on the positive side of human nature and what is currently happening in a person’s life. Two such approaches are humanistic therapy and motivational interviewing.

Humanistic Therapy For Addiction

Humanistic therapy is based on the premise that each of us views the world in a different way, which impacts our choices and behaviors. Individuals are viewed as unique, good at their core, and, once they connect with their true inner self, capable of making the positive choices that enable a happy, fulfilling life.

The positive approach of humanistic therapy focuses on the whole person, and the process relies heavily on how the individual observes and evaluates their own behavior. Through this therapy, clients learn to embrace their personal strengths, positive traits, and their innate ability to heal.

The relationship between humanistic therapist and client is one of collaboration. Believing that the individual knows what they need to recover best, the therapist allows each client to guide the direction of the session.

Humanistic therapy enables clients to:

  • Identify internal needs and personal values
  • Increase self-esteem and self-acceptance, regardless of criticism from others
  • Deepen self-awareness for more thoughtful actions and behaviors
  • Self-actualize for desired changes

Motivational Interviewing For Addiction

Addictive substances increase levels of dopamine and other chemicals in the brain that deliver a sense of pleasure and well-being. As the brain adapts to the consistent intake of alcohol or drugs, the brain may experience a reduced pleasure response without the presence of the substance.

Without the addictive substance, a person may struggle to feel good or even “normal.” This can seriously challenge their motivation to become or stay sober.

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic technique used to increase a person’s motivation for sobriety and commitment to long-term change. MI helps individuals strengthen their self-motivation for change, rather than attempting to change to please others.

Through MI, the addicted person evaluates the benefits or disadvantages of their life choices and behaviors, and what may be stopping them from making healthy choices. The client determines what changes they want to make according to their own needs and goals.

As with humanistic therapy, MI is a collaboration between the therapist and the addicted person, with a strong emphasis on the client’s ideas, feelings, and decisions. It is often used in conjunction with other recovery interventions, including cognitive therapy, stress management techniques, and participation in 12-step and other support groups.

Both therapies seek to accentuate the positive traits and innate wisdom in each person. When confidence and self-esteem are strong and personal values are clarified, the easier it is to commit to making the healthy life choices necessary for long-term recovery.

Turning Point of Tampa has been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or admissions@tpoftampa.com.

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