The University of Arizona

Treatment Modalities and Treatment Settings for Illicit Drug Abuse
Psychosocial Treatment:
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

MET attempts to enhance a patient’s desire to change by asking about the pros and cons of the patient’s behaviors, by considering the patient’s goals and the ambivalence associated with reaching those goals, and by attentively listening to the patient.[1] MET uses reflective listening techniques and a non-judgmental stance, both of which facilitate an empathetic environment for therapy.[2]  As would be expected, this form of treatment may be of benefit primarily to patients who are not already highly motivated to change.[1] MET is usually a relatively short-term intervention; one that is gaining in popularity partly because it can be tailored to the needs of the recipient, it can be readily learned, and it is widely thought to be efficacious.[2]



  • (1) American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders. Arlington, VA: APA; 2007 Apr. Report No.: 164.
  • (2) Tevyaw TO, Monti PM. Motivational enhancement and other brief interventions for adolescent substance abuse: foundations, applications, and evaluations. Addiction 2004 Nov;99(2):63-75.