i Updated: 10/26/95 Motivational Enhancement Therapy with Drug Abusers William R. Miller, Ph.D. Department of Psychology and Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions (CASAA) The University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-1161 This therapist manual was prepared in the public domain as part of a treatment development project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA08896).
The author makes no claims or representations regarding the effectiveness of the treatment described herein. This manual was prepared for standardization of treatment within research programs. Efficacy studies are underway.
ii Preface This is a clinical research guide for therapists in applying Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) with drug abusers. MET is grounded in the clinical approach known as motivational interviewing (Miller, 1983; Miller & Rollnick, 1991), and incorporates a "check-up" form of assessment feedback (Miller & Sovereign, 1989; Miller, Sovereign & Krege, 1988). This integrated MET approach was delineated in a detailed therapist manual (Miller, Zweben, DiClemente, & Rychtarik, 1992) developed for Project MATCH, a multisite trial of alcoholism treatments funded as a cooperative agreement by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA; Project MATCH Research Group, 1993).
This document is an adaptation and extension of the Project MATCH MET therapist manual. ... more. less.
Thanks are due to Drs. Allen Zweben, Carlo DiClemente, and Robert Rychtarik for their collaboration in the preparation of the original MET manual.<br><br> The background, clinical approach, and procedures described in that manual are directly applicable in treating clients when the drug of choice is other than alcohol. Large portions of the basic text have been adopted and adapted directly from that public domain manual. New examples have been inserted to illustrate applications with drug abusers, and the entire section on assessment feedback has been changed to reflect drug-focused measures.<br><br> This manual was prepared as part of a treatment development project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; R01-DA08896). Starting with an initial draft, the content of the manual was adjusted and amended based on clinical experience during the two-year study. Therapists collaborating in the development of this manual were Robert J.<br><br> Meyers, Nancy Handmaker, Joseph Miller, Edward Nash, Tracy Simpson, and Carolina Yahne. This manual was developed specifically to guide the treatment of drug abusers during the second phase of the NIDA treatment development study. The first phase offered treatment for significant others (e.g., family) who were concerned about the drug use of a loved one who was not seeking treatment.<br><br> Phase I interventions sought to engage the drug user in treatment. When the Phase I intervention succeeded, the drug user was offered admission to the study, carefully assessed, and given outpatient treatment that began with this MET approach. Further treatment was then provided, or referral was made to other agencies as appropriate.<br><br> Because the significant other (SO) was already involved in the study by participating in Phase I, emphasis was given to the inclusion of the SO in the MET phase. No claims are made regarding the effectiveness of the treatment procedures described in this manual. Although the principles of MET are well-grounded in clinical and experimental research, the specific efficacy of MET as outlined in this manual remains to be tested.<br><br> Clinical trials are underway. In the interim, this manual offers a detailed description of MET procedures for use with drug abusers. All manuals of this kind should be regarded as "under development," and subject to ongoing improvement based on subsequent research and experience.<br><br> iii MOTIVATIONAL ENHANCEMENT THERAPY WITH DRUG ABUSERS Table of Contents INTRODUCTION . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . 1 Overview . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .1 Research Basis for MET .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .1 Stages of Change . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .2 CLINICAL CONSIDERATIONS . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .4 Rationale and Basic Principles . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .4 1. Express Empathy . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .4 2. Develop Discrepancy . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> 4 3. Avoid Argumentation . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .5 4.<br><br> Roll with Resistance . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .5 5.<br><br> Support Self-Efficacy . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .5 Differences from Other Treatment Approaches .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .6 PRACTICAL STRATEGIES . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .7 Phase 1: Building Motivation for Change .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .7 1. Eliciting Self-Motivational Statements . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .7 2.<br><br> Listening with Empathy . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . 10 3.<br><br> Questioning . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .13 4.<br><br> Presenting Personal Feedback . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .13 5.<br><br> Affirming the Client . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .15 6. Handling Resistance .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .16 7. Reframing . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .18 8. Summarizing .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .19 Phase 2: Strengthening Commitment to Change . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .20 Recognizing Change Readiness .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .20 Asking Key Questions .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .22 Discussing a Plan . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .22 Communicating Free Choice . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .22 Consequences of Action and Inaction .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .23 Information and Advice .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .23 iv Abstinence and Harm Reduction . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .24 Handling Resistance . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .26 The Change Plan Worksheet .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .26 Recapitulating . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .29 Asking for Commitment . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .29 Involving a Significant Other in MET . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .31 Goals for Spouse/SO Involvement .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .31 Explaining the Significant Other's Role . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .32 The Significant Other in Phase 1 .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .32 The Significant Other in Phase 2 . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .34 Handling SO Disruptiveness . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .36 Phase 3: Follow-Through Strategies .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .37 Reviewing Progress .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .37 Renewing Motivation . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .37 Redoing Commitment .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .38 Further Treatment . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .38 THE STRUCTURE OF MET SESSIONS . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .39 The Initial Session . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> 39 Preparation for the First Session . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .39 Presenting the Rationale and Limits of Treatment . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .39 Ending the First Session .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .41 The Follow-up Note . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .41 Follow-Through Sessions . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .44 Transition or Referral . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .45 Termination . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .45 Time and Session Limits .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .46 Telephone Consultation . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .46 Crisis Intervention . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . 46 v RECOMMENDED READING AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .47 Clinical Descriptions . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . .47 Demonstration Videotapes . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> .48 References . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .48 APPENDIX Assessment Feedback Procedures .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .53 Preface .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .53 Interpreting the PFR to Clients .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . 53 Instructions for Preparing a Personal Feedback Report (PFR) .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . 58 Understanding Your Personal Feedback Report (client handout) .<br><br> . . .<br><br> . . .62 Personal Feedback Report Self-Evaluation of Drug Use 1 INTRODUCTION Overview Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a systematic intervention approach for evoking change.<br><br> It is based on principles of motivational psychology, and is designed to produce rapid, internally-motivated change. This treatment strategy does not attempt to guide and train the client, step by step, through recovery, but instead employs motivational strategies to mobilize the client's own change resources. It may be delivered as an intervention in itself, or may be used as a prelude to further treatment.<br><br> This manual was prepared for MET offered in an outpatient setting, although its application in residential settings is also feasible. MET may be particularly useful in situations where contact with clients is limited to one or a few sessions. Treatment outcome research strongly supports MET strategies as effective in producing change in problem drinkers.<br><br> Although MET has also been used to address other drug problems (Baker & Dixon, 1991; Saunders, Wilkinson & Allsop, 1991; van Bilsen, 1991), outcome studies remain to be done to evaluate its efficacy with drug abuse. Research Basis for MET For over two decades, research has pointed to surprisingly few differences in outcome between longer, more intensive treatment programs and shorter, less intensive, even relatively brief alternative approaches in the treatment of alcohol problems (Annis, 1985; Miller & Hester, 1986b; Miller & Rollnick, 1991; U. S.<br><br> Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1983), drug problems (MacKay, McLellan & Alterman, 1992), and mental health problems more generally (Kiesler, 1982). One interpretation of such findings is that all treatments are equally ineffective. A larger review of the literature, however, does not support such pessimism.<br><br> Significant differences are found, for example, among alcohol treatment modalities in nearly half of clinical trials, and relatively brief treatments have been shown in numerous studies to be more effective than no intervention (Holder, Longabaugh, Miller, & Rubonis, 1991; Miller et al., 1995). An alternative interpretation of this outcome picture is that many treatments contain a common core of ingredients which evoke change, and that additional components of some more extensive approaches may be unnecessary in many cases. This has led, in the addictions field as elsewhere, to a search for the critical conditions that are necessary and sufficient to induce change (e.g., Orford, 1986).<br><br> Miller and Sanchez (1994) described six elements which they believed to be active ingredients of the relatively brief interventions that have been shown by research to induce change in problem drinkers, summarized by the acronym FRAMES: FEEDBACK of personal risk or impairment Emphasis on personal RESPONSIBILITY for change Clear ADVICE to change A MENU of alternative change options Therapist EMPATHY Facilitation of client SELF-EFFICACY or optimism 2 These therapeutic elements are consistent with a larger review of research on what motivates change (Miller, 1985; Miller & Rollnick, 1991). Therapeutic interventions containing some or all of these motivational elements have been demonstrated in over two dozen studies to be effective in initiating treatment, and in reducing long- term alcohol use, alcohol-related problems, and health consequences of drinking (Bien, Miller, & Tonigan, 1993). It is noteworthy that in a number of these studies the motivational intervention yielded comparable outcomes even when compared with longer, more intensive alternative approaches.<br><br> Only one randomized trial to date has attempted to replicate with drug abusers the efficacy of this approach shown to be effective with problem drinkers: Stephens and Roffman (1993) reported motivational interviewing to be effective with marijuana dependent adults. Further evidence supports the efficacy of the therapeutic style which forms the core of MET. The therapist characteristic of accurate empathy, as defined by Carl Rogers and his students (e.g., Rogers, 1957, 1959; Truax & Carkhuff, 1967), has been shown to be a powerful predictor of therapeutic success, even when treatment is guided by another (e.g., behavioral) rationale (Miller, Taylor & West, 1980; Valle, 1981).<br><br> Miller, Benefield, and Tonigan (1993) reported that the degree to which therapists engaged in direct confrontation (conceptually opposite to an empathic style) was predictive of continued alcohol consumption among problem drinkers one year after treatment. Stages of Change The MET approach is further grounded in research on processes of natural recovery. Prochaska and DiClemente (1982, 1984, 1985, 1986) have described a transtheoretical model of how people change addictive behaviors, with or without formal treatment.<br><br> In a transtheoretical perspective, individuals move through a series of stages of change as they progress in modifying problem behaviors. This concept of stages is important in understanding change. Each stage requires certain tasks to be accomplished and certain processes to be used in order to achieve change.<br><br> Six separate stages have been identified in this model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984, 1986). Individuals who are not considering change in their problem behavior are described as being in PRECONTEMPLATION. The CONTEMPLATION stage entails the person's beginning to consider both the existence of a problem and the feasibility and costs of changing the problem behavior.<br><br> As this individual progresses, he or she moves on to the DETERMINATION stage where the decision is made to take action and change. Once the individual begins to modify the problem behavior, he or she enters the ACTION stage, which normally continues for 3-6 months. After successfully negotiating the action stage, the individual moves to MAINTENANCE or sustained change.<br><br> If these efforts fail, a RELAPSE occurs, and the individual begins another cycle. The ideal path is progress directly from one stage to the next until maintenance is achieved. For most people with serious problems related to drug use, however, the process involves several slips or relapses which represent failed action or maintenance.<br><br> The good news is that most who relapse go through the cycle again and move back into contemplation and the change process. 3 Several revolutions through this cycle of change are common before the individual maintains change successfully. From a stages-of-change perspective, the MET approach addresses where the client is currently in the cycle of change, and assists the person to move through the stages toward successful sustained change.<br><br> For the ME therapist, the contemplation and determination stages are most critical. The objective is to help clients consider seriously two basic issues. The first is how much of a problem their drug use poses for them, and how it is affecting them (both positively and negatively).<br><br> Tipping the balance of these pros and cons of drug use toward change is essential for movement from contemplation to determination. Secondly, the client in contemplation assesses the possibility and the costs/benefits of changing the drug use. Clients consider whether they will be able to make a change, and how that change will impact their lives.<br><br> In the determination stage, clients develop a firm resolve to take action. That resolve is influenced by past experiences with change attempts. Individuals who have made unsuccessful attempts to change their drug use in the past need encouragement to decide to go through the cycle again.<br><br> Understanding the cycle of change can help the ME therapist to empathize with the client, and can give direction to intervention strategies. Though individuals move through the cycle of change in their own ways, it is the same cycle. The speed and efficiency of movement through the cycle, however, will vary.<br><br> The task is to assist the individual in moving from one stage to the next as swiftly and effectively as possible. There is reason to believe that MET is particularly effective with less motivated clients. Rollnick and his colleagues (Heather, Rollnick, Bell, & Richmond, 1996) in a randomized trial with problem drinkers found that MET was significantly more effective than behavior-change skills training for clients who were in the precontemplation or contemplation stages of change.<br><br> For more motivated clients (already to the action stage when presenting for treatment) the two approaches were equally effective. In sum, MET is well-grounded in theory and research on motivation for change. It is consistent with an understanding of the stages and processes that underlie change in addictive behaviors.<br><br> It draws on motivational principles that have been derived from both experimental and clinical research. This motivational approach is well supported by clinical trials with alcohol problems: its overall effectiveness compares favorably with outcomes of alternative treatments, and when cost-effectiveness is considered, an MET strategy fares well indeed in comparison with other approaches (Holder et al., 1991). 4 CLINICAL CONSIDERATIONS Rationale and Basic Principles The MET approach begins with the assumption that the responsibility and capability for change lie within the client.<br><br> The therapist's task is to create a set of conditions that will enhance the client's own motivation for and commitment to change. Rather than relying upon therapy sessions as the primary locus of change, the therapist seeks to mobilize the client's inner resources, as well as those inherent in the client's natural helping relationships. MET seeks to support intrinsic motivation for change, which will lead the client to initiate, persist in, and comply with behavior change efforts.<br><br> Miller and Rollnick (1991) have described five basic motivational principles underlying such an approach: 1. Express Empathy 2. Develop Discrepancy 3.<br><br> Avoid Argumentation 4. Roll with Resistance 5. Support Self-Efficacy 1.<br><br> Express Empathy The ME therapist seeks to communicate great respect for the client. Communications that imply a superior/inferior relationship between therapist and client are avoided. The therapist's role is a blend of supportive companion and knowledgeable consultant.<br><br> The client's freedom of choice and self-direction are respected. Indeed, in this view, it is only the client who can decide to change and carry out that choice. The therapist seeks ways to compliment rather than denigrate, to build up rather than tear down.<br><br> Much of MET is listening rather than telling . Persuasion is gentle, subtle, always with the assumption that change is up to the client. The power of such gentle, nonaggressive persuasion has been widely recognized in clinical writings, including Bill Wilson's own advice on "working with others" (Alcoholics Anonymous, 1976).<br><br> Reflective listening (accurate empathy) is a key skill in motivational interviewing. It communicates an acceptance of clients as they are, while also supporting them in the process of change. 2.<br><br> Develop Discrepancy Motivation for change occurs when people perceive a discrepancy between where they are and where they want to be . The MET approach seeks to enhance and focus the client's attention on such discrepancies with regard to drug use. In certain cases (e.g., the "precontemplators" in Prochaska and DiClemente's model) it may be necessary first to develop such discrepancy by raising the client's awareness of the adverse personal consequences of his or her drug use.<br><br> Such information, properly presented, can precipitate a crisis (critical mass) of motivation for change. As a result, the individual may be more willing to enter into a frank discussion of change options, in order to reduce the perceived discrepancy and regain emotional equilibrium. In other cases, the client enters 5 treatment in a later "contemplation" stage, and it takes less time and effort to move the client along to the point of determination for change.<br><br> 3. Avoid Argumentation If handled poorly, ambivalence and discrepancy can resolve into defensive coping strategies that reduce the client's discomfort but do not alter drug use and related risks. An unrealistic (from the client's perspective) attack on his or her drug use tends to evoke defensiveness and opposition, and suggests that the therapist does not really understand.<br><br> The MET style explicitly avoids direct argumentation, which tends to evoke resistance. No attempt is made to have the client accept or "admit" a diagnostic label. The therapist does not seek to prove or convince by force of argument.<br><br> Instead, the therapist employs other strategies to assist the client to see accurately the consequences of drug use, and to begin devaluing the perceived positive aspects of drugs. When MET is conducted properly, it is the client and not the therapist who voices the arguments for change (Miller & Rollnick, 1991). 4.<br><br> Roll with Resistance How the therapist handles client "resistance" is a crucial and defining characteristic of the MET approach. MET strategies do not meet resistance head-on, but rather "roll with" the momentum, with a goal of shifting client perceptions in the process. New ways of thinking about problems are invited but not imposed.<br><br> Ambivalence is viewed as normal, not pathological, and is explored openly. Solutions are usually evoked from the client rather than provided by the therapist . This approach for dealing with resistance will be described in more detail later.<br><br> 5. Support Self-efficacy A person who is persuaded that he or she has a serious problem will still not move toward change unless there is hope for success. Bandura (1982) has described self-efficacy as a critical determinant of behavior change.<br><br> Self-efficacy is, in essence, the belief that one can perform a particular behavior or accomplish a particular task. In this case, the client must be persuaded that it is possible to change his or her own drug use and thereby reduce related problems. In everyday language, this might be called hope or optimism, though it is not an overall optimistic nature that is crucial here.<br><br> Rather, it is the client's specific belief that he or she can change the drug problem. Unless this element is present, a discrepancy crisis is likely to resolve into defensive coping (e.g., rationalization, denial) to reduce discomfort, without changing behavior. This is a natural and understandable protective process.<br><br> If one has little hope that things could change, there is little reason to face the problem. 6 Differences from Other Treatment Approaches The MET approach differs dramatically from confrontational treatment strategies such as Synanon, in which the therapist takes primary responsibility for "breaking down the client's denial." Miller (1989) described several contrasts between these approaches. MET places little emphasis on acceptance of a diagnostic label ("alcoholic," "addict"), whereas confrontational approaches often view such acceptance as a critical condition for change.<br><br> MET emphasizes the client's personal choice regarding future drug use, whereas confrontational strategies may minimize the role of personal choice and describe drug abuse as a disease beyond the individual's control. Resistance behavior tends to be viewed as characterologic "denial" by confrontational therapists, whereas an MET approach views ambivalence as a normal stage of change. Consequently an ME therapist meets resistance with reflection rather than argumentation.<br><br> It is noteworthy that this MET style is quite consistent with the original perspectives of Alcoholics Anonymous (1976; cf. Miller & Kurtz, 1994). A goal of the ME therapist is to evoke from the client statements of problem perception and a need for change (see "Eliciting Self-Motivational Statements").<br><br> This is the conceptual opposite of an approach in which the therapist takes responsibility for voicing these perspectives ("You're an addict, and you have to quit using") and persuading the client of their truth. The ME therapist emphasizes the client's ability to change (self-efficacy) rather than the client's helplessness or powerlessness over drugs. As discussed earlier, arguing with the client is carefully avoided, and strategies for handling resistance are more reflective than exhortative.<br><br> The ME therapist, therefore, does not : argue with the client impose a diagnostic label on the client tell the client what he or she "must" do seek to "break down" denial by direct confrontation imply a client's "powerlessness" The MET approach also differs substantially from cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies that prescribe and attempt to teach clients specific coping skills. No direct skill training is included in the MET approach. Clients are not taught "how to ..." Rather the MET strategy relies on the client's own natural change processes and resources.<br><br> Instead of telling the client how to change, the ME therapist builds motivation and elicits ideas from the client as to how change might occur. Whereas skill training strategies implicitly assume readiness to change, MET focuses explicitly on motivation as the key factor in triggering lasting change (Miller & Rollnick, 1991). In the absence of motivation and commitment, skill training is premature.<br><br> Once such a motivational shift has occurred, however, the ordinary resources of the individual and his or her natural relationships may well suffice. Syme (1988), in fact, has argued that for many individuals a skill training approach may be inefficacious precisely because it removes the focus from what is the key element of transformation: a clear and firm decision to change (cf. Miller & Brown, 1991).<br><br> It should be noted, however, that MET is not incompatible with, and could be used as a preparation for a skill training treatment approach. 7 Finally, it is useful to differentiate MET from nondirective approaches with which it might be confused. In a strict Rogerian approach, the therapist does not direct treatment, but follows the client's direction wherever it may lead.<br><br> In contrast, MET employs systematic strategies toward specific goals. The therapist seeks actively to create discrepancy, and to channel it toward behavior change (Miller, 1983). The MET counselor offers feedback and advice where appropriate, and uses empathic reflection selectively to reinforce motivation for change.<br><br> The increasing of conflict (discrepancy) is also a strategic element in MET. Thus MET is a directive and persuasive method, not a nondirective and passive approach. PRACTICAL STRATEGIES Phase 1: Building Motivation for Change Motivational counseling can be divided into two major phases: (1) building motivation for change, and (2) strengthening commitment to change (Miller & Rollnick, 1991).<br><br> The early phase of MET focuses on developing the client's motivation to make a change in his or her drug use. Clients will vary widely in their readiness to change. Some may come to treatment largely decided and determined to change, but the following processes should nevertheless be pursued in order to explore the depth of such apparent motivation, and to begin consolidating commitment.<br><br> Others will be reluctant or even hostile at the outset. At the extreme, some true precontemplators may be coerced into treatment by family, employer, or legal authorities. Most clients, however, are likely to enter the treatment process somewhere in the contemplation stage.<br><br> They may already be dabbling with taking action, but still need consolidation of motivation for change. This may be thought of as the tipping of a motivational balance (Janis & Mann, 1977; Miller, 1989; Miller, Sovereign & Krege, 1988). One side of the seesaw favors status quo (e.g., continued drug use as before), whereas the other favors change.<br><br> The former side of the decisional balance is weighed down by perceived positive benefits from drug use and feared consequences of change. Weights on the other side consist of perceived benefits of changing one's drug use, and feared consequences of continuing unchanged. Your task is to shift the balance of weight in favor of change.<br><br> Eight strategies toward this end (Miller & Rollnick, 1991) are outlined in this section. 1. Eliciting Self-Motivational Statements There is truth to the saying that we can "talk ourselves into" a change.<br><br> Motivational psychology has amply demonstrated that when people are subtly enticed to speak or act in a new way, their beliefs and values tend to shift in that direction. This phenomenon has sometimes been described as cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957). Self-perception theory (Bem, 1965, 1967, 1972), an alternative account of this phenomenon, might be summarized: "As I hear myself talk, I learn what I believe." That is, the words which come out of a person's mouth are quite persuasive to that person - moreso, perhaps, than words spoken by another.<br><br> If I say it, and no one has forced me to say it, then I must believe it! 8 If this is so, then the worst persuasion strategy is one that evokes defensive argumentation from the person. Head-on confrontation is rarely an effective sales technique ("Your children are educationally deprived, and you will be an irresponsible parent if you don't buy this encyclopedia").<br><br> This is a flawed approach not only because it evokes hostility, but also because it provokes the client to verbalize precisely the wrong set of statements. An aggressive argument that "You're an addict and you have to give up all drugs" will usually evoke a predictable set of responses: "No I'm not, and no I don't." Unfortunately, counselors are sometimes trained to understand such a response as client "denial," and to push all the harder. The likely result is a high level of client resistance - which we will examine later.<br><br> The positive side of the coin here is that the ME therapist seeks to elicit from the client certain kinds of statements that can be considered, within this view, to be self-motivating (Miller, 1983). These include statements of: 1. being open to input about drug use and effects 2.<br><br> acknowledging real or potential problems related to drug use 3. expressing a need, desire, or willingness to change 4. expressing optimism about the possibility of change.<br><br> There are several ways to elicit such statements from clients. One is to ask for them directly, via open-ended questions. Some examples: I assume, from the fact that you are here, that you have been having some concerns or difficulties related to your drug use.<br><br> Tell me about those. Tell me a little about your drug use. What do you like most about the drugs you use?<br><br> What's positive about these drugs for you? And what's the other side? What are your worries about using drugs?<br><br> Tell me what you've noticed about your drug use. How has it changed over time? What things have you noticed that concern you, that you think could be problems, or might become problems?<br><br> What have other people told you about your drug use? What are other people worried about? (If a spouse or significant other is present, this can be asked directly.) What makes you think that you may need to make a change in your drug use?<br><br> Once this process is rolling, simply keep it going by using reflective listening (see below), by asking for examples, by asking "What else?", etc. If it bogs down, you can inventory general areas such as those contained in the Self-Evaluation of Drug Use. This inventory can be used as a structured inquiry, in which the pros and cons of drug use are weighed (see Appendix).<br><br> Here are the areas included: 9 A mount and tolerance - Is the client's drug use increasing? Does the client seem to need larger doses of drugs to experience the same effect as before, or to tolerate large doses without showing much effect? B ehavior - Has drug use caused trouble with the law, neglect of responsibilities, inconveniences like having to move, financial problems, or embarrassing behavior?<br><br> C oping - Is the client using drugs to cope with problems and day to day difficulties? How well does it work in reducing (versus escaping) problems? D ependence - How dependent or addicted is the client?<br><br> How difficult is it to go without drugs? E motional Health - Does the client feel more anxious, guilty, upset, or depressed because of drug use? How does it affect the client's emotions?<br><br> F amily - What effects does drug use have on the client's family? Feeling G ood About Self (Self-Esteem) - How does drug use affect the client's self-concept? Does the person feel ashamed, guilty, out of control?<br><br> Physical H ealth - Has drug use contributed to illness, injuries, fatigue, poor eating habits, etc.? I mportant Relationships - How does drug use affect the client's relationships with loved ones and friends? J ob: Work and School - How does drug use affect the person's school or employment?<br><br> K ey People - What do key people in the client's life think about his or her drug use? L oving Relationships and Sexuality - How does drug use impact the client's physical attractiveness, sexual drive, sexual relationships, safe sex practices, etc.? M ental Abilities - Has drug use affected the person's memory, ability to concentrate, learning?<br><br> Information from pretreatment assessment (to be used as feedback later) may also suggest some areas to explore during this open-ended motivational interviewing phase. If you encounter difficulties in eliciting client concerns, still another strategy is to employ gentle paradox to evoke self-motivational statements. In this table-turning approach, you subtly take on the voice of the client's "resistance," evoking from the client the opposite side.<br><br> Some examples: 10 You haven't convinced me yet that you are seriously concerned. You've come down here and gone through several hours of assessment. Is that all you're concerned about?<br><br> I'll tell you one concern I have. This program is one that requires a fair amount of motivation from people, and frankly I'm not sure from what you've told me so far that you're motivated enough to carry through with it. Do you think we should go ahead?<br><br> I'm not sure how much you are interested in changing, or even in taking a careful look at your drug use. It sounds like you might be happier just going on as before. Particularly in the presence of a significant other, such statements may elicit new self-motivational material.<br><br> Similarly, a client may back down from a position if you state it more extremely, even in the form of a question. For example: So drugs are really important to you. Tell me about that.<br><br> What is it about drugs that you really need to hang onto, that you can't let go of? In general, however, the best opening strategy for eliciting self-motivational statements is to ask for them: Tell me what concerns you about your drug use. Tell me what it has cost you.<br><br> Tell me why you think you might need to make a change. 2. Listening with Empathy The eliciting strategies just discussed are likely to evoke some initial offerings, but it is also crucial how you respond to clients' statements.<br><br> The therapeutic skill of accurate empathy (sometimes also called active listening, reflection, or understanding) is an optimal response within MET. In popular conceptions, empathy is thought of as "feeling with" a person, or having an immediate understanding of their situation by virtue of having experienced it (or something similar) oneself. Carl Rogers, however, introduced a new technical meaning for the term "empathy," using it to describe a particular skill and style of reflective listening (Rogers, 1957, 1959).<br><br> In this style, the therapist listens carefully to what the client is saying, then reflects it back to the client, often in a slightly modified or reframed form. Acknowledgment of the client's expressed or implicit feeling state may also be included. This way of responding offers a number of advantages: (1) it is unlikely to evoke client resistance; (2) it encourages the client to keep talking and exploring the topic; (3) it communicates respect and caring, and builds a working therapeutic alliance; (4) it clarifies for the therapist exactly what the client means; and (5) it can be used to reinforce ideas expressed by the client.<br><br> 11 This latter characteristic is an important one. You can reflect quite selectively, choosing to reinforce certain components of what the client has said, and passing over others. In this way, clients not only hear themselves saying a self-motivational statement, but also hear you saying that they said it.<br><br> Further, this style of responding is likely to encourage the client to elaborate the reflected statement. Here is an example of this process. THERAPIST: What else concerns you about your drug use?<br><br> CLIENT: Well, I'm not sure I'm concerned about it, but I do wonder sometimes if I'm using too much. T: Too much for . .<br><br> . C: For my own good, I guess. I mean it's not like it's really serious, but sometimes when I wake up in the morning I feel really awful, and I can't think straight most of the morning.<br><br> T: It messes up your thinking, your concentration. C: Yes, and sometimes I do stupid things. T: And you wonder if that might be because you're using too much.<br><br> C: Well, I know it is sometimes. T: You're pretty sure about that. But maybe there's more.<br><br> C: Yeah - even when I'm not using, sometimes I get things mixed things up, and I can't think right, and I wonder about that. T: Wonder if . .<br><br> . C: If drugs are frying my brain, I guess. T: You think that can happen to people, maybe to you.<br><br> C: Well can't it? I've heard that drugs can mess up your brain. T: Um hmm.<br><br> I can see why that would worry you. C: But I don't think I'm an addict or anything. T: You don't think you're that bad off, but you do wonder if maybe you're overdoing it and damaging yourself in the process.<br><br> 12 C: Yeah. T: Kind of a scary thought. What else worries you?<br><br> This therapist is responding primarily with reflective listening. This is not, by any means, the only strategy used in MET, but it is an important one. Neither is this an easy skill.<br><br> Readily parodied or done poorly, true reflective listening requires continuous alert tracking of the client's verbal and nonverbal responses and their possible meanings, formulation of reflections at the appropriate level of complexity, and ongoing adjustment of hypotheses. Optimal reflective listening suspends advice, agreement, disagreement, suggestions, teaching, warning, and questioning, in favor of continued exploration of the client's own processes. (For more detail, see Egan, 1982; Miller & Jackson, 1995).<br><br> It may be of further help to contrast reflective with other kinds of possible therapist responses to some client statements: CLIENT: I guess I do use too much sometimes, but I don't think I have a problem with drugs. CONFRONTATION: Yes you do! How can you sit there and tell me you don't have a problem when .<br><br> . . QUESTION: Why do you think you don't have a problem?<br><br> REFLECTION: So on the one hand you can see some reasons for concern, and you really don't want to be labeled as "having a problem." CLIENT: My wife is always telling me that I'm a junkie. JUDGING: What's wrong with that? She probably has some good reasons for thinking so.<br><br> QUESTION: Why does she think that? REFLECTION: And that really annoys you. CLIENT: If I quit using drugs, what am I supposed to do for friends?<br><br> ADVICE: I guess you'll have to get yourself some new ones. SUGGESTION: Well, you could just tell your friends that you don't use anymore, but you still want to see them. REFLECTION: It's hard for you to imagine living without drugs.<br><br> 13 This style of reflective listening is to be used throughout MET. It is not to be used to the exclusion of other kinds of responses, but it should be your predominant style in responding to client statements. As the following sections indicate, however, the ME therapist also uses a variety of other strategies.<br><br> Finally, it should be noted here that selective reflection can backfire. For a client who is ambivalent, reflection of one side of the dilemma ("So you can see that drugs are causing you some problems.") may evoke the other side from the client ("Well, I don't think I have a problem really."). If this occurs, the therapist should reflect the ambivalence.<br><br> This is often best done with a double- sided reflection that captures both sides of the client's discrepancy. These may be joined in the middle by the conjunction "but" or "and", though we favor the latter to highlight the ambivalence: DOUBLE-SIDED REFLECTIONS You don't think that drugs are harming you seriously now, and at the same time you are concerned that they might get out of hand for you later. You really enjoy using drugs and would hate to give that up, and you can also see that they are causing serious problems for your family and your job.<br><br> 3. Questioning The MET style does include some purposeful questioning as an important therapist response. Rather than telling the client how he/she should feel, or what to do, the therapist asks the client about his/her own feelings, ideas, concerns, and plans.<br><br> Elicited information is then responded to with empathic reflection, affirmation, or reframing (see below). 4. Presenting Personal Feedback The first MET session should always include feedback to the client from the pretreatment assessment.<br><br> This is done in a structured way, providing clients with a written report of their results ("Personal Feedback Report"), and comparing these with normative ranges. To initiate this phase, give the client (and significant other, if attending) the Personal Feedback Report (PFR), retaining a copy for your own reference and the client's file. Go through the PFR step by step, explaining each item of information, pointing out the client's score, and comparing it with the normative data provided.<br><br> The details of this feedback process are provided in the Appendix. A very important part of this process is your own monitoring of and responding to the client during the feedback. Observe the client as you provide personal feedback.<br><br> Allow time spaces for the client (and significant other) to respond verbally. Use reflective listening to reinforce self-motivating 14 statements that emerge during this period. Also respond reflectively to resistance statements, perhaps reframing them or embedding them in a double-sided reflection.<br><br> Here are several different examples: CLIENT: Wow! This says that I'm using a lot more drugs than most people. THERAPIST: And that doesn't seem right to you.<br><br> C: I don't see how my drug use can be affecting me that much. T: This isn't what you expected to hear. C: No, I don't really use much more than other people.<br><br> T: So this is confusing to you. It seems like you use about the same amount as your friends, yet here are the results. Maybe you wonder if there's something wrong with the tests, or if I'm not being honest with you.<br><br> C: More bad news! T: This is pretty difficult for you to hear. C: This gives me a lot to think about.<br><br> T: A lot of reasons to think about making a change. The same style of responding can be used with the client's significant other (SO). In this case, it is often helpful to reframe or emphasize the caring aspects behind what the SO is saying: WIFE: I always knew he was using too much.<br><br> THERAPIST: You've been worried about him for quite a while. HUSBAND: (weeping) I've told you to quit doing drugs! THERAPIST: You really care about her a lot.<br><br> It's hard to sit there and listen to this. After reflecting an SO statement, it is often wise to ask for the client's perceptions, and to reflect self- motivational elements: FRIEND: I never really thought he used that much! THERAPIST: This is taking you by surprise.<br><br> (Then to client:) How about you? Does this surprise you, too? WIFE: I've been trying to tell you all along that you drugs were no good for you.<br><br> Now maybe you'll believe me. THERAPIST: You've been worrying about this for a long time, and I guess you're hoping now he'll see why you've been so concerned. (To client:) What are you thinking about all this?<br><br> You're getting a lot of input here. 15 Often a client will respond nonverbally , and it is possible also to reflect these reactions. A sigh, a frown, a slow sad shaking of the head, a whistle, a snort, or tears can communicate a reaction to feedback.<br><br> You can respond to these with a reflection of the apparent feeling. If the client is not volunteering reactions, it is wise to pause periodically during the feedback process to ask: What do you make of this? Does this make sense to you?<br><br> Does this surprise you? What do you think about this? Do you understand?<br><br> Am I being clear here? Clients will have questions about their feedback and the tests on which their results are based. For this reason, you need to be thoroughly familiar with the assessment battery and its interpretation.<br><br> Some additional interpretive information is provided on the PFR, which the client takes home. The training videotape "Motivational Interviewing" offers one demonstration of this style of presenting assessment feedback to a resistant problem drinker [See Demonstration Videotapes list at the end of this section.] 5. Affirming the Client You should also seek opportunities to affirm, compliment, and reinforce the client sincerely.<br><br> Such affirmations can be beneficial in a number of ways, including: (1) strengthening the working relationship, (2) enhancing the attitude of self-responsibility and empowerment, (3) reinforcing effort and self-motivational statements, and (4) supporting client self-esteem. Some examples: I appreciate your hanging in there through this feedback, which must be pretty rough for you. I think it's great that you're strong enough to recognize the risk here, and that you want to do something before it gets more serious.<br><br> You've been through a lot together, and I admire the kind of love and commitment you've had to stay together through all this. You really have some good ideas for how you might change. Thanks for listening so carefully today.<br><br> You've taken a big step today, and I really respect you for it. 16 6. Handling Resistance Client resistance is a legitimate concern.<br><br> Failure to comply with a therapist's instructions, and resistant behaviors within treatment sessions (e.g., arguing, interrupting, denying a problem) are responses that predict poor treatment outcome. What is resistance? Here are some client behaviors that have been found to be predictive of poor treatment outcome: Interrupting - cutting off or talking over the therapist Arguing - challenging the therapist, discounting the therapist's views, disagreeing, hostility Sidetracking - changing the subject, not responding, not paying attention Defensiveness - minimizing or denying the problem, excusing one's own behavior, blaming others, rejecting the therapist's opinion, unwillingness to change, alleged impunity, pessimism What too few therapists realize, however, is that the extent to which such client "resistance" occurs during treatment is powerfully affected by the therapist's own style.<br><br> Miller, Benefield and Tonigan (1993) found that when problem drinkers were randomly assigned to two different therapist styles (given by the same therapists), one confrontational-directive and one motivational-reflective, those in the former group showed substantially higher levels of resistance, and were much less likely to acknowledge their problems and need to change. These client resistance patterns were, in turn, predictive of less long-term change. Similarly, Patterson and Forgatch (1985) had family therapists switch back and forth between these two styles within the same therapy sessions, and demonstrated that client resistance and noncompliance went up and down markedly with therapist behaviors.<br><br> The picture that emerges is one in which the therapist dramatically influences client defensiveness, which in turn predicts the degree to which the client will change. This is in contrast with the common view that drug addicts are resistant because of pernicious personality characteristics that are part of their condition. Denial is often regarded to be a trait of "chemical dependency." In fact, extensive research has revealed relatively few consistent personality characteristics among drug users, nor do studies of defense mechanisms suggest any unique pattern associated with addictive behavior (cf.<br><br> Miller, 1985). This suggests that people with drug problems do not, in general, walk though the therapist's door already possessing high levels of denial and resistance. These important client behaviors are more a function of the interpersonal interactions that occur during treatment, although they may result in part from the context in which therapeutic contact occurs (e.g., mandate by the courts).<br><br> An important goal in MET, then, is to avoid evoking client resistance (anti-motivational statements). Said more bluntly, client resistance is a therapist problem . How you respond to resistant behaviors is one of the defining characteristics of MET.<br><br> 17 A first rule of thumb is never meet resistance head-on . Certain kinds of reactions are likely to exacerbate resistance, back the client further into a corner, and elicit anti-motivational statements from the client (Gordon, 1970; Miller & Jackson, 1995). These therapist responses include: Arguing, disagreeing, challenging Judging, criticizing, blaming Warning of negative consequences Seeking to persuade with logic or evidence Interpreting or analyzing the "reasons" for resistance Confronting with authority Sarcasm or incredulity Even direct questions as to why the client is "resisting" (e.g., Why do you think that you don't have a problem?) only serve to elicit from the client further defense of the anti-motivational position, and leave you in the logical position of counter argument.<br><br> If you find yourself in the position of arguing with the client to acknowledge a problem and the need for change, shift strategies . Remember that you want the client to make self-motivational statements (basically, "I have a problem" and "I need to do something about it"), and if you defend these positions yourself it may evoke the opposite from the client. Here are several strategies for deflecting resistance (Miller & Rollnick, 1991): Simple reflection .<br><br> One strategy is simply to reflect what the client is saying. This sometimes has the effect of eliciting the opposite, and balancing the picture. Reflection with amplification .<br><br> A modification is to reflect, but exaggerate or amplify what the client is saying to the point where the client is likely to disavow it. There is a subtle balance here, because overdoing an exaggeration can elicit hostility. CLIENT: But I'm not addicted, or anything like that.<br><br> THERAPIST: You don't want to be labelled. CLIENT: No. I just don't think I have a drug problem.<br><br> THERAPIST: So as far as you can see, there really haven't been any problems or harm because of your drug use. CLIENT: Well, I wouldn't say that exactly. THERAPIST: Oh!<br><br> So you do think sometimes your drug use has caused problems, but you just don't like the idea of being called an addict. 18 Double-Sided Reflection . The last therapist statement in this example is a double-sided reflection, which is another way to deal with resistance.<br><br> If a client offers a resistant statement, reflect it back with the other side (based on previous statements in the session). CLIENT: But I can't just quit drugs. I mean, all of my friends use!<br><br> THERAPIST: You can't imagine how you could not use with your friends, and at the same time you're worried about how it's affecting you. Shifting Focus . Another strategy is to defuse resistance by shifting attention away from the problematic issue.<br><br> CLIENT: But I can't just quit drugs. I mean, all of my friends use! THERAPIST: You're getting way ahead of things.<br><br> I'm not talking about your quitting here, and I don't think you should get stuck on that concern right now. Let's just stay with what we're doing right now - going through your feedback - and later on we can worry about what, if anything, you want to do about it. Rolling With .<br><br> Resistance can also be met by rolling with it instead of opposing it. There is a paradoxical element in this, which often will bring the client back to a balanced or opposite perspective. This strategy can be particularly useful with clients who present in a highly oppositional manner, and who seem to reject every idea or suggestion.<br><br> CLIENT: But I can't just quit drugs. I mean, all of my friends use! THERAPIST: And it may very well be that when we're through, you'll decide that it's worth it to keep on using as you have been.<br><br> It may be too difficult to make a change. That will be up to you. 7.<br><br> Reframing Reframing is a strategy whereby the therapist invites the client to examine his or her perceptions in a new light, or a reorganized form. New meaning is given to what has been said. When a client is receiving feedback that confirms drug problems, a wife's reaction of "That's what I've been trying to tell you" can be recast from "I'm right and I told you so" to "You've been so worried about him, and you care about him very much." Reframing can be used to help motivate the client and SO to deal with drug use.<br><br> In placing current problems in a more positive or optimistic frame, the counselor hopes to communicate that the problem is solvable and changeable (Bergaman, 1985; Fisch et al., 1982). In developing the reframe 19 it is important to use the client's own views, words, and perceptions about drug use. Some examples of interpretive reframes that can be utilized with drug abusers are: Drugs as reward .<br><br> "You may have a need to reward yourself on the weekends for successfully handling a stressful and difficult job during the week." (The implication here is that there are alternative ways of rewarding oneself without using drugs.) Drug use as a protective function . "You don't want to impose additional stress on your family by openly sharing concerns or difficulties in your life [give examples]. As a result, you carry all this yourself, and absorb tension and stress by using drugs, as a way of trying not to burden your family." (The implication here is that the user has inner strength or reserve, is concerned about the family, and could discover other ways to deal with these issues besides using drugs.) Drug use as an adaptive function .<br><br> "Your drug use can be viewed as a means of avoiding conflict or tension in your relationship. Your drug use tends to keep the status quo , to keep things as they are. It seems like you have been using drugs to keep your relationship intact.<br><br> Yet both of you seem uncomfortable with this arrangement." (The implication is that the client cares about the relationship and has been trying to keep it together, but needs to find more effective ways to do this.) The general idea in reframing is to place the problem behavior in a more positive light, which in itself can have a paradoxical effect (prescribing the symptom), but to do so in a way that causes the person to take action to change the problem . 8. Summarizing It is useful to summarize periodically during a session, and particularly toward the end of a session.<br><br> This amounts to a longer summary reflection of what the client has said. It is especially useful to repeat and summarize the client's self-motivational statements. Elements of reluctance or resistance may be included in the summary, to prevent a negating reaction from the client.<br><br> Such a summary serves the function of allowing the client to hear his or her own self-motivational statements yet a third time, after the initial statement and your reflection of it. Here is an example of how you might offer a summary to a client at the end of a first session: Let me try to pull together what we've said today, and you can tell me if I've missed anything important. I started out by asking you to tell me about your drug use, and you told me several things.<br><br> You said that your cocaine use has been increasing rapidly, and you notice that you have a high tolerance for it - it's taking more for you to get the high that you want. You've been spending a lot of money on cocaine, and you're worried that you could lose your job and your house. There have been some real problems and fights in the family about your drug use, and you're concerned about how all of this is affecting your son.<br><br> On the feedback, you were somewhat surprised to learn that your drug use in general is very high compared 20 to American adults - that very few people use drugs they way you do. You have seen some signs that your drug use is starting to damage you physically. And though you don't want to think of yourself as an addict, you are quickly becoming dependent on cocaine, and you feel scared that it would be very hard for you to give it up.<br><br> I appreciate how open you have been to all this feedback, and I can see you have some real concerns now about your drug use. Is that a pretty good summary? Did I miss anything?<br><br> Along the way during a session, shorter "progress" summaries can be given: So thus far you've told me that you are concerned you're setting a bad example for your kids by using drugs, and that sometimes you may not be able to be as good a parent to your children as you'd like because of your drug use. What else concerns you? Phase 2: Strengthening Commitment to Change Recognizing Change Readiness The strategies outlined above are designed to build motivation, and to help tip the client's decisional balance in favor of change.<br><br> A second major process in MET is to consolidate the client's commitment to change, once sufficient motivation is present (Miller & Rollnick, 1991). Timing is a key issue - knowing when to begin moving toward a commitment to action. There is a useful analogy to sales here - knowing when the customer has been convinced and one should move toward "closing the deal." Within the Prochaska/DiClemente model, this is the stage of determination , when the balance of contemplation has tipped in favor of change, and the client is ready for action (but not necessarily for maintenance).<br><br> Such a shift is not irreversible. If the transition to action is delayed too long, determination can be lost. Once the balance has tipped, then, it is time to begin consolidating the client's decision.<br><br> There are no universal signs of crossing over into the determination stage. These are some changes you might observe (Miller & Rollnick, 1991): The client stops resisting and raising objections The client asks fewer questions The client appears more settled, resolved, unburdened, or peaceful The client makes self-motivational statements indicating a decision (or openness) to change ["I guess I need to do something about my drug use." "If I wanted to kick this, what could I do?"] The client begins imagining how life might be after a change Here is a checklist of issues to assist you in determining a client's readiness to accept, continue in, and comply with a change program. These questions may also be useful in recognizing individuals at risk for prematurely withdrawing from treatment (Zweben et al., 1988): 21 1.<br><br> Has the client missed previous appointments or canceled prior sessions without rescheduling? 2. If the client was coerced into treatment (e.g., for a drunk driving offense), has the client discussed with you his or her reactions to this involuntariness - anger, relief, confusion, acceptance, etc.?<br><br> 3. Does the client show a certain amount of indecisiveness or hesitancy about scheduling future sessions? 4.<br><br> Is the treatment being offered quite different from what the client has experienced or expected in the past; and if so, have these differences and the client's reactions been discussed? 5. Does the client seem to be very guarded during sessions, or otherwise seem to be hesitant or resistant when a suggestion is offered?<br><br> 6. Does the client perceive involvement in treatment to be a degrading experience rather than a "new lease on life"? If the answers to these questions suggest a lack of readiness for change, it might be valuable to explore further the client's uncertainties and ambivalence about drug use and change.<br><br> It is also wise to delay any decision-making or attempts to obtain firm commitment to a plan of action. For many clients, there may not be a clear point of decision or determination. Often people begin considering and trying change strategies while they are in the later part of the contemplation stage.<br><br> For some, their willingness to decide to change depends in part upon trying out various strategies until they find something that is satisfactory and effective. Then they commit to change. Thus the shift from contemplation to action may be a gradual, tentative transition rather than a discrete decision.<br><br> It is also important to remember that even when a client appears to have made a decision and is taking steps to change, ambivalence is still likely to be present. Avoid assuming that once the client has decided to change, there is no longer any need for Phase I strategies. Likewise you should proceed carefully with clients who make a commitment to change too quickly or too emphatically.<br><br> Even when a person seems to enter treatment already committed to change, it is useful to pursue some of the above motivation-building and feedback strategies before moving into commitment consolidation. In any event, a point comes when you should move toward strategies designed to consolidate commitment. The following strategies are useful once the initial phase has been passed, and the client is moving toward change.<br><br> 22 Asking Key Questions One useful strategy in making the transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 is to provide the kind of summary statement described earlier, summing up all of the reasons for change that the person has given, while also acknowledging remaining points of ambivalence. At the end of this summary, ask a key question such as: What do you make of all this? Where does this leave you in terms of your drug use?<br><br> What's your plan? What are you thinking you will do? I wonder what you're thinking about your drug use at this point.<br><br> Now that you're this far, I wonder what you might do about these concerns. Discussing a Plan The critical shift for the therapist is from focusing on reasons for change (Phase 1; building motivation) to strengthening commitment and negotiating a plan for change (Phase 2). The client may initiate this transition by stating a need or desire to change, or by asking what he or she could do.<br><br> Alternatively, you may trigger this transition with a key question. Your goal during Phase 2 is to elicit from the client (and SO) some ideas and ultimately a plan for what to do about the client's drug use. It is not your task at this point to prescribe a plan for how the client should change, or to teach specific skills for doing so.<br><br> The overall message is: "Only you can change your drug use, and it's up to you." Further questions may help: "How do you think you might do that? What do you think might help?" and to the SO, "How do you think you might help him/her?" Reflecting and summarizing continue to be good therapeutic responses as mor