The Crestwood Wellness and Recovery Center in Redding has incorporated an additional and powerful therapeutic tool in their dynamic recovery program known as Motivational Interviewing.  Motivational Interviewing is a person-centered therapeutic approach using a process that is infused with collaboration and personal choices and honors the person’s autonomy and self-direction.

There are five principles to Motivational Interviewing, which includes developing empathy to elicit engagement; identifying discrepancy between where the person is not and where they want to be; avoiding conflict while passively rolling along with any perceived resistance; avoiding the development of counter positions between client and staff; and supporting the client’s belief in their own abilities to build self-worth.

John Dalton, the facility’s Wellness and Recovery Director, explained, “Almost instantly after beginning the use of Motivational Interviewing, I noticed the clients being less resistive and more communicative.  We were able to elicit new information from each of the clients and there was the development of enhanced therapeutic relationships as clients and staff worked together toward each client’s self-identified goal.”

Many of the clients involved with the Motivational Interviewing therapy stated that they felt in greater control of their own recovery, and that the staff working with them truly heard what they had been trying to say to others for years.

The facility staff who have utilized the Motivational Interviewing technique also identified that it creates a collaborative conversation that leads to tremendous growth, empowerment, and healing.  By using the client’s own goals, beliefs, abilities, and reasoning, clients were less likely to resist the process of making positive changes in their lives.  The key to the therapy is the process of asking, listening, and informing the client in a reflective manner what was said during the conversation.  This interactive role between the clients and staff, which is grounded in the understanding of the importance of the clients’ perceptions and desires, has led to multiple success stories.

One of their clients said, “I never knew that I possessed the ability to change my life in such a profound way.  My Service Coordinator helped me to hear my own voice, and then cheered me on as I began to make the changes in my life that I wanted to change.”

Motivational Interviewing is just one of many tools that can be used in the recovery journey.  Yet, for many, it is that unique inner voice that once identified, heard, and acknowledged, can then be nourished, cultivated, and supported to help clients make self-empowered changes toward health and stability.