MET is based on five fundamental tenets:
- Creating an environment of trust by expressing empathy, listening, and understanding their experiences and feelings to help an individual see their destructive behaviors
- Developing discrepancy and elaborate on various incongruities by promoting differentiation in the patient’s mind to clearly show them where they are currently in their state of abusing drugs or alcohol and where they would like to be in a substance-free future.
- During a MET interview, a therapist will do all they can to avoid arguments that may result in the client being distrustful, resistant, and oppositional. Instead, they will use techniques that will ultimately encourage trust and comfort.
- MET counselors are trained to understand resistance to change instead of confronting it head-on, meaning they neutralize opposition by listening and being attentive without judgment or defensiveness. This is an effective way to promote trust and lower the levels of hostility.
- A MET therapist will support a client’s self-efficacy by offering positive thoughts, reinforcement, and feedback to help an individual feel hopeful and boost their self-worth and esteem while at it.