Motivation enhancement therapy can increase utilization of cognitive-behavioral therapy: the case of social anxiety disorder

Julia D. Buckner, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.


Despite the documented efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for many psychological disorders, the vast majority of suffering people do not receive treatment. Treatment underutilization may prove at least partially due to ambivalence about seeking treatment. Ambivalence could result if, for example, people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) want to decrease their anxiety symptoms but are worried they will be judged negatively should they seek treatment. Motivation enhancement therapy (MET) can be a useful tool to help non-treatment seekers explore and resolve ambivalence regarding seeking treatment. A case study illustrates the application of MET to encourage the utilization of CBT for a non-treatment seeker with SAD. This case study includes outcome data regarding the client's experience with post-MET CBT for her social anxiety.