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Motivational Interviewing

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Our Professional staff is here to get you or your loved one started on the road to lasting recovery.  Contact us today at 424.465.5182.

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Therapist and client sit and talk during motivational interviewing session

At The Canyon, we provide motivational interviewing (MI) to our clients as one of our compassionate addiction therapy programs. MI is a collaborative, goal-oriented communication style designed to strengthen personal motivation for change. It allows our clients to explore their own ambivalence towards change and empowers them to make positive decisions for themselves.

MI can be applied in various settings, including addiction treatment. It is based on the principles of empathy, acceptance, and compassion. Therapists use MI techniques to help clients develop a deeper understanding of their own values and beliefs, as well as the consequences of their substance misuse. Contact our motivational interviewing in Santa Monica, CA, by calling us at 424.465.5182 today.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic technique developed by clinical psychologists William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. It is a client-centered method that stimulates and explores an individual’s own motivation to change behavior. This approach respects the autonomy of clients, allowing them to find their path toward recovery.

This therapy is particularly effective in treating addictive behaviors. It helps individuals overcome ambivalence or resistance towards treatment, making it an integral part of our addiction therapy programs at The Canyon.

How Does Motivational Interviewing Work?

Motivational interviewing follows a specific set of principles and techniques, including:

  • Expressing empathy Therapists show genuine understanding and compassion towards clients without judgment or criticism.
  • Developing discrepancies – Clients are encouraged to explore the difference between where they are currently and where they want to be, motivating them towards change.
  • Rolling with resistance – Instead of confronting resistance head-on, therapists guide clients toward self-exploration and decision-making.
  • Supporting self-efficacy – Therapists empower clients by highlighting their strengths and abilities to make positive changes in their lives.

While these techniques may seem simple, they can have a profound impact on our clients’ motivation to change. At The Canyon, we understand the importance of creating a non-judgmental environment for individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings.

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How Does MI Work?

Motivational Interviewing revolves around the concept of ambivalence, the simultaneous presence of contradictory ideas or feelings toward a particular situation. In the context of addiction, this could mean a struggle between wanting to overcome addiction and continuing the addictive behavior.

The role of the therapist in Motivational Interviewing is to guide the client in exploring these conflicting feelings, helping them resolve their ambivalence. The therapist uses a non-confrontational approach, asking open-ended questions, affirming the client’s strengths and capabilities, reflecting on what the client says, and summarizing the discussion.

Through this process, clients can recognize the negative impacts of their addiction, see the benefits of change, and feel empowered to take action.

Benefits of Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is highly beneficial in addiction therapy due to its empathetic and supportive nature. Here are some key benefits:


MI respects the autonomy of the client, allowing them to control their journey to recovery.

Builds Self-Efficacy

By focusing on the individual’s strengths and capabilities, MI helps build self-efficacy – the belief in one’s ability to succeed.

Reduces Resistance

MI helps clients overcome resistance to change by facilitating self-motivation.

Promotes Lasting Change

By resolving ambivalence and increasing motivation, MI promotes lasting change, reducing the likelihood of relapse.

At The Canyon, we believe each person has the capacity for change and recovery.

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Call The Canyon Today

If you are in Santa Monica and are looking for a compassionate, supportive environment to begin your path to recovery, call The Canyon at 424.465.5182 or contact us online. We are committed to providing personalized treatment plans that address both mental health and substance use issues. Let us help you discover your motivation for change and guide you towards a healthier, happier life.