Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is a counseling approach designed to ease patient’s hesitancies regarding initial treatment and recovery processes. It was developed by Stephen Rollnick, a professor of clinical psychology at Cardiff University and William Miller, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. Good Therapy, an online therapist directory, has noted the 5 principles that therapists enact in MET:

  1. Express empathy – therapists work to create a safe and supportive environment for the client and to engage in listening rather than confrontation.
  2. Develop discrepancy – with this, the therapist works to create a discrepancy between the client’s desired state of being versus their actual state of being. This helps the client to recognize ways in which they are hindering their own goals.
  3. Avoid argumentation – the therapist does not argue with the client, as they do not want to induce resistance. Any statements of change come from the client, not the therapist.
  4. Roll with resistance – instead of confronting resistance directly with the client, the therapist listens intently and goes along with what the client is saying. Although this may seem unproductive, it increases the chances of the client returning and the client may still benefit from other areas of the intervention.
  5. Support self-efficacy – a therapist’s job is to make sure the client knows that they can make the change. Many people do not change their behavior unless they believe they have the power to do so.



A 2014 study conducted by researchers primarily from the University of Minnesota-Medical School found that MET increased the number of abstinent days in patients with alcohol use disorders. The aim of MET is to gently ease a person into making changed behavior, not to overwhelm them. The therapist works with the client to enhance their motivation for making a change – in doing this, the person has more decision making and agency in their recovery.

MET can be used for a variety of issues – substance or drug abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, process addictions such as gambling, and more. Regardless of a person’s commitment level, MET helps people to gain a better understanding of their beliefs and perspectives, and can help them to understand how they are hindering their own progress. This form of therapy is more gentle and non-confrontational, which can be beneficial due to the fear of change. If you suffer from addiction or a mental illness, speaking with a therapist could help you take steps towards living a happier, healthier life. Take action now.





Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665

Addiction and behavioral healthcare are within reach when you join us at New Vista Behavioral Health:
A far-reaching horizon and new perspective toward addiction recovery, wellness and restoration. We are a national and renowned family of treatment centers focused on distinctive patient care, evidence-based treatment modalities and unwavering compassion.

If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

Most insurance accepted –
verify yours now

*Coverage may vary by facility, including both in-network and out of network options.