What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy?

happy couple

“Pink cloud” is the term used to describe the euphoric state of being sober. Pink clouds come and go. When a new person to sobriety is feeling good, optimistic, happy, grateful, and clear-minded, they are often told they are on a “pink cloud”. Unfortunately, at some point, the pink cloud evaporates and they are left with all the emotions from the other side of the spectrum. Not feeling good is not a favorite experience for people in recovery from both substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Especially those who have rewired their brain through substance abuse, not feeling any feelings which are pleasurable are especially triggering. After all, what is the point of staying sober if you can’t feel good all the time? It takes time to understand that “good” and “bad” are subjective experiences and that they are transitory. Each period of up will be followed by a period of down, or at least a little less up. This is the natural flow of life. As it is commonly said, “This too shall pass.”

Addicted Mind

Problematically, that fragile discouragement is due to the way the brain has been impacted. The addicted mind is wired for instant gratification and has a hard time conceptualizing into the future especially when there is nothing tangible involved. For example, an addict can count on receiving their drugs and knowing what will happen when they take them. More difficult to imagine is living life in a whole new way with no guarantees that it is going to feel good at all.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Motivational enhancement therapy serves to support those in recovery at exactly such a critical stage. Other stages of recovery, such as feeling indecisive about starting treatment, are also helped by motivational enhancement therapy. When someone starts doubting the necessity of treatment, sobriety and recovery, there is an urgent time table to intervene with preventive therapy. Relapse is a process, not an episode and it starts with a shift into negative thinking which sensationalizes the idea of using again. Using techniques from motivational interviewing, the therapist is able to lure self-motivational thoughts and statements from the patient. Demonstrating that they have the internal motivation to do what they know is best for them despite the compulsive desires of their brain encourages them to make the right choices for the future.

We know recovery can be hard. Avalon By The Sea incorporates therapeutic techniques like motivational enhancement therapy to help keep patients aligned with their goal- lifelong recovery. For a private consultation and information on our residential treatment programs, call 1 888-958-7511.

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