Motivation to Change. Harbor Hall.

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Motivation to Change

Motivation to Change

Addressing each individual’s needs to develop a life that is free from substance misuse.

Article by: Chief Executive Officer – Patrick McGinn – MS, MA, LLP, CAADC, CCS-M

NeedsPyramid-300x212 Motivation to ChangeWhenever I am talking about motivation to change, my first thought goes back to PSYC 101 and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Dr. Abraham Maslow first described this model in 1954. It is still, to this day, considered to be a masterpiece in any discussion about motivation and change. Because of the simplicity of the model in explaining motivation it is a useful tool to begin to understand why we do some of the things we do, and how they play a role in substance misuse.

Maslow proposed a five level hierarchy of needs as the basis of his theory on motivation. The hierarchy of needs begins with physiological need, then progresses in sequence through safety need, belonging need, esteem need and self-actualization need. According to this hierarchical structure, the lower-level need has to be largely satisfied and its impact on behavior diminished before the person transitions to the next level.

Physiological Needs.

This is described as the most basic of needs, satisfying for the relief of thirst, hunger, and physical drives.

Safety Needs.

The need to be free from harm or danger, to have a secure and predictable daily life.

Love or Belonging Needs.

Beyond the needs of survival are the desires for nurturing, acceptance, respect, and caring relationships.

Esteem Needs.

Mental/emotional well-being, built on the perception of oneself as worthy and recognized by others, to be appreciated.

Last but not least….

Self-Actualization Needs.

Defined as the individual ability to recognize and develop capabilities to realize one’s fullest potentials.

Creating an environment to foster the motivation to change.

At Harbor Hall we believe that by addressing the individual needs as described above, the individual is more motivated to develop a life that is free from substance misuse. Our professional staff go all-out to make the facility comfortable, clean, and safe.

Our clients are well-nourished, there is opportunity for exercise and all physical needs are examined and addressed. Once the physical and safety needs taken care of, the residents and staff can concentrate and focus on the harder issues of therapy. Residents are assigned to a primary group. The treatment milieu is highly structured 24/7 and the residents are in primary and big groups participating in all activities together. A very strong emphasis is placed on connection with one another and a sense of comradery and kinship is developed.

Together residents work on anger, communication, conflict resolution, and other topics that support the attainment of belonging and being a part of. As a natural result to this process, esteem builds, spiritual concepts develop and residents being to gain confidence in their own abilities to address life situations. By the time a resident is discharged from treatment and they have responded well to the treatment process, they will be well on their way to recognizing their own unique potential and at the beginning of making plans to be successful in their life.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
– C.S. Lewis