Reexamining confrontation and motivational interviewing

TitleReexamining confrontation and motivational interviewing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsPolcin, DL
JournalAddictive Disorders and Their Treatment
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
Place PublishedUS
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1531-57541535-1122
Accession Number2006-22924-006. First Author & Affiliation: Polcin, Douglas L.
KeywordsAlcohol Rehabilitation, Client Centered Therapy, client-centered therapy, confrontation, directive therapy, Drug Rehabilitation, interviews, Motivation, motivational interviewing, Rehabilitation Counseling, Substance abuse treatment

Motivational interviewing (MI) was largely conceived as an alternative to "confrontational" approaches used in drug and alcohol treatment. Thus, MI emphasized building an empathic, collaborative alliance with clients rather than arguing or attacking in an attempt to "break down denial." An unintended consequence of this contrast with confrontation was a frequent application of MI that overemphasized client-centered aspects and deemphasized directive MI interventions that are equally important. This paper provides an alternative definition of confrontation that focuses on potential harm the client may experience as a result of their substance use. Research supporting this type of confrontation is reviewed and it is suggested that confrontation is integral to the directive interventions of MI. Suggestions for using confrontation to facilitate MI are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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