Behavioral therapy is everywhere these days, and for good reason. Not only is behavioral therapy the kind of treatment that teaches skills and an understanding of one’s self to help affect consequently negative behavioral habits, but perhaps obviously, it has also has proven itself to be a vital part in the successful treatment of drug and alcohol chemical dependency particularly when the addict has a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is when a person with a chemical dependency on a drug or alcohol also suffers from some kind of mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder or panic disorder, among many others. A substantial number of addicts struggle with a co-occurring disorder. This can make recovery difficult because both dual diagnosis have to be addressed simultaneously in order to successfully recover from either one. Behavioral therapies target both the substance abuse disorder as well as the mental health complications.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a behavioral therapy meant to encourage not just positive change in a patient, but to actually enhance the actual desire within the patient to change. According to Dr. Kathleen M. Carroll in her article Behavioral Therapies for Drug Abuse in The American Journal of Psychiatry, “Motivational interviewing is based on principles of motivational psychology and is intended to enhance the individual’s intrinsic motivation for change” (

Discovery InstituteMotivational interviewing is usually a short term behavioral therapy but has been proven to help NJ patients in a successful venture into sober living in New Jersey. The strategy has two phases. The first phase of motivational interviewing is where the client explains their motivations for changing to their therapist. They talk about reasons they need to sober up and stay that way. Hearing themselves say the words makes the motivation more present and real in the person struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The second phase is where the therapist wraps the motivation back around and ties it to different parts of the user’s story, solidifying to the patient the importance and reality of that need for change. This is the part of motivational interviewing where a patient accepts once again the need for change and then commits to the change throughout the conversation with their therapist.

Treatment For Substance Use Disorder

Discovery Institute, one of New Jersey’s top rated drug rehab centers, offers behavioral therapies with qualified counselors who are dedicated to the sustainable success of their patients in their new sober lives. We offer different forms of therapy and will help you find a recovery path that is right for you. Call us today to learn more about how our programs can work for you.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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