Some clients who are court-ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment are not able or willing to identify treatment-related goals. This situation can cause difficulties in the therapeutic relationship and compromise treatment. To address this problem, we offered a group-based motivational enhancement program prior to standard treatment. Over 2 years, 73 clients attended the motivation group while 94 did not. Compared to those who did not, those who attended the motivation group were significantly less likely to meet criteria for substance abuse dependence, they attended a higher proportion of their treatment sessions, and they were more likely to have completed treatment. After controlling for diagnosis, employment, and age, attending the motivation group was still related to higher rates of attendance and treatment completion. A motivation group may promote better participation in substance abuse treatment programs among persons who do not identify treatment goals. Additional research is needed to draw firm conclusions.