Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Menu Close


Addiction doesn't wait.

Take your first steps towards addiction recovery with Serenity Grove.

3 Benefits of Motivational Enhancement Therapy

a man works hard with his counselor in his motivational enhancement therapy session

Motivational enhancement therapy, or MET for short, is a treatment method used most often in dealing with alcohol and other substance abuse disorders. It is meant to be a short-term method of treatment. It shares some similarities with motivational interviewing. This technique is founded on the transtheoretical model of change. That is to say, MET centers the importance of motivation as a factor in whether or not someone successfully recovers. For those who lack motivation or display ambivalence toward seeking long-term recovery, MET can provide the necessary boost. Contact Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485 to learn more about mental health treatment near you.

What Is MET?

MET is a therapeutic strategy that relies on motivational interviewing techniques to help clients become more self-aware, find what will motivate them in recovery, and create an action plan for changing behavior in ways that promote recovery. This approach is meant to be short-term, lasting anywhere between four and six sessions. Five key motivational principles underlie the MET approach:

  1. Empathy
  2. Discrepancy
  3. Avoid arguments
  4. Expect resistance
  5. Self-efficacy


MET is meant to help people express empathy for others. Part of finding inner motivation is understanding how your behavior impacts those closest to you in life. By tapping into empathy, you can unlock motivation for change based on how your substance abuse has been damaging your loved ones.


Another fundamental of MET is the acknowledgment of discrepancy. This simply refers to the gap between where a person is in life and where they would like to be. Recognizing and coming to terms with this gap can boost someone’s motivation for adopting a different approach to their substance abuse issue.

Avoid Arguments

MET is not designed as an argumentative strategy. Therapy rarely succeeds when putting someone on the defensive and provoking arguments. MET is no different in that regard.

Expect Resistance

Resistance can happen during any kind of therapy. MET practitioners expect resistance since these clients typically enter treatment with little or no motivation to deal with their substance abuse issues. In response, MET is meant to defuse this resistance and help people find what will intrinsically lead them to change.


Self-efficacy development is key to a round of MET. By the end, the goal is for clients to be motivated to address their substance abuse. Motivation is much harder to come by if someone feels no sense of self-efficacy.

No matter what situation MET is being applied to, it will rely on the five principles described above. MET can be helpful as part of a treatment plan for alcohol use disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders.

Benefits of MET

When it is most effective, MET can help people overcome their resistance to entering treatment and beginning the recovery journey. Intrinsic motivation is necessary at every stage of recovery. But not having it at the beginning dooms any attempt at recovery to failure. That is why MET can be so beneficial for those who might otherwise resist treatment. Some of the most significant benefits are the quick timeline, emphasis on choice, and how it reduces resistance to treatment.

1. Quick Timeline

MET does not drag on. As indicated earlier, MET is typically just four sessions. It can sometimes last up to six sessions. But even then, it likely won’t take someone more than a few weeks to complete a round of MET. This is not to say MET is easy. It naturally requires showing up and putting in the work during each session. Yet in terms of the impact it can have on whether or not someone will be successful in treatment, its short timeline means this method has major bang for its proverbial buck.

2. Reduces Resistance to Treatment

One of the primary goals during MET is to reduce someone’s resistance to long-term substance abuse treatment. It does not attempt to reduce resistance through coercion or confrontation. Rather, it looks to unlock a person’s intrinsic motivation. Doing so is much more successful than trying to use external pressures or forcing mechanisms to get someone to enter recovery. This is one reason why it can be such a powerful piece of the treatment puzzle.

3. Emphasis on Choice

MET emphasizes collaboration between therapist and client. The therapist brings expertise to each session, yet the MET approach relies on the individual to become more self-aware and reflect on the choices they have at their disposal.

To learn how motivational enhancement therapy could benefit the recovery of yourself or a loved one, reach out for more information about your options.

Find Motivational Enhancement Therapy Near You at Serenity Grove

Serenity Grove offers motivational enhancement therapy as a means of breaking down resistance and kickstarting recovery. Find out how MET could benefit you or a loved one by calling 844.904.3485. You can also fill out our online contact form and let us get back to you.