An eating disorder requires change, and the client has to be ready to make that change. One of the ways to begin the process of healing is through motivational interviewing. Take a closer look at this type of therapy, and explore the ways that it can help clients find true health and happiness. This form of therapy is one of many recovery tactics and strategies available at Magnolia Creek.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?

A woman participates in a motivational interviewing sessionMI, or motivational interviewing, is a form of therapy that can play a big role in overcoming eating disorders. It is a talk therapy format that encourages clients to take control, and it pushes for the need for change. Motivational therapies are collaborative, not just instructive. It gives clients a greater feeling of power and agency in their own lives.

The reason MI has the word “interviewing” right in the title is that it involves asking questions of the client. A therapist might ask a client what obstacles are in her way or what situations have prevented recovery in the past. There are lots of opportunities for clients to contribute to the conversation, answer questions, and truly immerse themselves in the process of healing.

Understanding the Five Stages of Change

Motivational interviewing stems from the belief that change happens over five distinct stages. These stages are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. MI helps clients get from one stage to the next, see the need for change, and have the desire to push forward to the next stage.

Pre-contemplation is the very first stage for many clients. Either clients are unaware that they have an eating disorder, or they understand the diagnosis but don’t have any desire to change. The next stage is contemplation. At this point, clients might be seriously thinking about making a change, but they won’t have completed anything concrete just yet.

It’s at this point MI can be incredibly helpful. It can encourage clients to see what specific changes they need to make. This helps them move to stage three, preparation, which consists of inconsistent action.

From there, clients can move to action. This often happens in a recovery program, and it is when clients make steady, effective, and consistent changes that work toward better health. Finally, clients can reach maintenance, where they work to avoid relapse and maintain their health.

Creating What-If Scenarios

One tactic used in MI is the use of what-if scenarios. By creating these scenarios in a controlled environment, clients can talk through their options and come up with the right types of solutions. Doing this in advance makes it easier to make the right choices in stressful situations.

For example, a therapist might ask a client: If you become tired and stressed after a long way of work, how could you unwind in a healthy way? The client might then consider her options. These could include calling a close friend, going for a walk, or getting to bed early. All of these can be a healthy way of relieving stress and avoiding relapse.

Rooting Out Underlying Issues

Many clients with an eating disorder also seek out dual diagnosis mental health treatment in Birmingham AL. That’s because many clients have issues that stem from the same underlying factors. A history of trauma, for instance, might lead to concerns like anxiety, depression, or bulimia.

That’s why it is so important to offer motivational interviewing therapy that can address underlying issues. Once again, this requires questions directed at the client. Having the client reveal the issues, with prompting, is more effective than just telling the client what is wrong.

Eating Disorder Recovery Programs at Magnolia Creek

Motivational interviewing can be a crucial part of the collaborative healing process. At Magnolia Creek, clients can look forward to a serene, welcoming environment for their recovery. The healing process may include all of the following:

Motivational interviewing has great potential for clients ready to overcome an eating disorder. At Magnolia Creek in Columbiana, Alabama, clients can embark on their journey toward lasting health. Make changes starting today by calling 866-318-2329 for support and more information.