Write at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening.
Student post down below:
No one person is alike. Just like there are many different definitions for addiction and many theories stating reasons on why people become addicted; people are also very different. Treatments should be individualized because not one type of treatment can fit everyone. What may work for one person, even if they are in the same or similar situation, may not work for another.
12-Step programs are widely known and utilized in many treatment facilities (Galanter, 2006). They have been very effective for many people; however, not everyone benefits from this type of treatment. Several factors need to be taken into consideration that might be affecting why this client has failed to complete the 12-Step program, not just once, but twice in the last year. First of all, this program is not individualized for the client. 12-Step programs, no matter where you go, their “…foundation is the same” (Fox-Bolte, 2018). This client might need something that is more tailored for him/her and his/her unique needs. Second, this is a treatment that is not for everyone because of their spiritually-guided approach. Not everyone believes or wants to believe in a higher being. Lastly, maybe our client does not like the group setting or the peer support environment. These are some of the things that we need to take into account when referring a client to a treatment program.
Furthermore, without having a background about the reasons why this client has failed to complete the 12-Step program twice; however, assuming that one of the above reasons might be affecting this client, I would recommend that they be treated using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in an individual setting or Art therapy in a group setting to treat his or her addiction. The 12-Step program’s first step is to admit that the client has a problem and that they are powerless over the substance of choice (Rehab Center, n.d.). Many addicts cannot pass this first step because admitting that they have a problem is in itself a difficult thing to do and to add on to it, many might not understand why they have the problem even if they admit to having one or even further, they might feel ashamed. If they are not people of faith, it might be difficult to believe that submitting themselves to a higher power will turn their lives around as it states in the third step. CBT, on the other hand, helps them not only know that they have an issue but to figure out why they do. CBT teaches the clients to identify and correct any behaviors that conduce them to the addiction and the skills on how to stop the use and address other issues that might co-occur with the addiction (National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2018). Many times, clients have mental health issues that go along with the addiction. CBT can help, not only identify these issues, but also be able to treat them simultaneously. It helps them recognize the cravings early on, develop coping skills, and practice self-control (NIDA, 2018). These skills, proven through research, remain with the client even after they have completed the treatment program (NIDA, 2018). In addition, the client is not stuck on their past behaviors but it helps them move forward without shaming them into change or submitting to a higher power. CBT helps the client move forward, not dwell on their past.
Furthermore, 12-Step programs help the client stay abstinent but do not help them understand and explore the reasons, both emotional and interpersonal, that contribute to the addiction (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2005). CBT will help them find exactly that. It will help them understand and explore those reasons that will in turn, help them stay abstinent.
On the other hand, our client might not have a problem so much with being in a group or even submitting to a higher power. In fact, if s/he’s gone back, maybe s/he wants to have that peer support that can only be found in group therapies but lacks the confidence to speak up and communicate with other people. If this is the case, then s/he would benefit from a holistic approach in a group setting. Art therapy is well known to help people with addictions and with mental problems, including traumas. It can be used in combination with his or her more traditional therapy, such as CBT or it can be used as a stand-alone, even though they are more commonly used in combination (Foundations Recovery Network, n.d.).Art therapy can take the shape of painting, sculpting, dancing, drawing, music, acting, or poetry (Foundations Recovery Network, n.d.). It is great for people with addictions because it helps them express themselves in a way that they could not do if they had to communicate verbally (Foundations Recovery Network, n.d.) It also helps them find ways to learn and cope with their addiction in a constructive manner. This type of therapy provides an outlet for the addict. It encourages them to explore suppressed and unconscious feelings and emotions, that would otherwise be missed in a traditional setting where words need to be used and the client might be unable to express well verbally (Dickson, 2007). Once these feelings are externalized, they become more aware of their issues and are able to gain an “authentic-self” (Dickson, 2007, p. 25). This therapy “…may be viewed as a step toward creativity, productivity, and empowerment” (Dickson, 2007, p.25). It would help our client find him/herself and figure out reasons behind his or her addiction. The client can continue to be in a group setting without expressing too much in a verbal manner but still get the benefits of the peer support, of feeling that they are not alone. “Groups instill a hope of sense that if he can make it, so can I” (SAMHSA, 2005, p.7).
There are many things that might be happening with this client that can affect the reasoning why s/he does not or cannot complete the 12-Step program; however, with the little to no information about him/her, one can assume that s/he is having difficulties with the type of treatment and that it is not one that fits him or her unique needs at all. Many times, we think of the client as the one that has failed; however, it is the type of treatment, that if not the right one for them, has failed them. The fact that 12-Step programs have helped so many people become abstinent, does not mean it is a one-solution-fits all type of treatment. It is not just this particular treatment but every treatment out there. The treatments itself are not bad, but they will be of no help if they do not fit well with the client’s needs.