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What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a short term therapy used in treating alcohol and substance abuse disorders. This therapeutic approach focuses on encouraging people to feel more motivated to quit substance use and alcohol. Quitting may be difficult for many people who suffer from substance abuse disorders, in this case MET can be helpful by creating an inspirational path of change. MET also helps people to better understand the effects of substance abuse disorders, and can offer support for those who struggle with addiction. This form of treatment usually lasts four sessions, however it may last up to six sessions for some individuals.

5 Key Principles of Motivational Focus

  • Express empathy
  • Acknowledge discrepancy
  • Avoid arguments
  • Accept resistance
  • Support self-efficacy

Motivational enhancement therapy is focused on overcoming a person’s resistance to changing their destructive behavior. It takes a client-centered approach to encourage people to develop the intrinsic motivation to engage in the recovery process.

Verywell Mind

Although MET was designed to treat addictions, research suggests that it may help treat other conditions as well. Here are some of the most common conditions that MET can be useful in treating:

It’s important to talk with your doctor or therapist before beginning a new treatment for addiction. If you are in crisis and need support reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for assistance.



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