Motivational Enhancement Therapy Intervention Summary

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is an adaptation of motivational interviewing (MI) that includes one or more client feedback sessions in which normative feedback is presented and discussed in an explicitly nonconfrontational manner. Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve their ambivalence and achieve lasting changes for a range of problematic behaviors. This intervention has been extensively tested in treatment evaluations of alcohol and other drug use/misuse. MET uses an empathic but directive approach in which the therapist provides feedback that is intended to strengthen and consolidate the client's commitment to change and promote a sense of self-efficacy. MET aims to elicit intrinsic motivation to change substance abuse by resolving client ambivalence, evoking self-motivational statements and commitment to change, and "rolling with resistance" (responding in a neutral way to the client's resistance to change rather than contradicting or correcting the client).

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Substance abuse treatment
Outcomes Review Date: September 2007
1: Substance use
2: Alcohol consumption
3: Drinking intensity
4: Marijuana use
5: Marijuana problems
Outcome Categories Alcohol
Social functioning
Ages 18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)
Genders Male
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings Inpatient
Geographic Locations Urban
Implementation History Motivational Enhancement Therapy and its precursor, the Drinker's Check-Up, have been implemented in well over 200 sites since 1985. Thousands of participants have received the MET intervention described in this summary, which has been evaluated in approximately 30 separate research studies. Outside the United States, MET has been implemented in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: Yes
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations Specific applications and adaptations of motivational interviewing are described in detail in "Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change (2nd Ed.)" by W. R. Miller and S. Rollnick (2002). Specific adaptations have been tailored to address a variety of health issues, such as diet and physical activity change, HIV risk prevention, smoking cessation, and medication compliance. The authors describe in detail how far motivational interviewing can be adapted "before its goals, skills, and spirit are diluted beyond recognition."
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories IOM prevention categories are not applicable.