Substance use disorders are wrought with stigma in our society. For the patient, these disorders have the potential to negatively impact the person’s ability to function at work, home, school, interpersonally, and/or within their communities. Often times, student clinical settings for learning do not provide for patients whose primary problem is addiction, although addiction tends to be pervasive and co-morbid in the population we care for. This assignment gives you an opportunity to be part of someone’s experience not only with addiction, but with recovery as well.
There are no literature citations required for this assignment. Please answer # 1, then choose 2 of the remaining 3 questions. Clearly label in your post the title of the questions you chose to answer. Try and answer as honestly as possible.
1) Expectations, demographics, comparison, and knowledge:
A) Expectations: what were your expectations prior to attending these meetings? Were there any particular images you had in mind? How did you anticipate you would feel?
B) Demographics and Comparison: Give us some information about the two meetings you attended. Please include substance or behavior addressed; the format (online or in-person); estimated number of participants; references to religion or spirituality (did they address a higher power?); and anything you can ascertain about the population demographics (if you attended an international online meeting with cameras off this may not be possible, but if you attended a group specifically geared towards women with trauma, let us know). How were the groups alike and how were they different?
C) Knowledge: State 2 things you learned about 12 step programs in general.
2) Group experience:
Although 12-step programs are not technically considered group therapy, there were likely some therapeutic factors that contributed to the groups’ effectiveness. Dr. Irving Yalom described some of these therapeutic group factors in your text (Kaplan & Sadock, 2015, p. 1288). Please look at this section in your book.
A) What did you notice about the members in general and how they interacted?
B) Please explore two of Yalom’s therapeutic factors that appeared to be at play during the groups. Be sure to back your answer up with data, such as participant quotes to justify your answer.
3) Course concepts, implications for practice, and reflection: The DSM-5 states that one criterion for a substance use disorder is that the substance is taken in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than intended with the key idea being intention. Step 1 of the 12 steps states that the “addict” has no power over their use of the substance and thus life becomes unmanageable – in essence that their free will was compromised by a mental illness. The concept at play here is that intention, volition, and will, are mentally compromised, and therefore insufficient to control the quantity and frequency of use. Please explore your thoughts on this as you answer:
A) Did you notice any change in your thoughts or feelings about people with addiction prior to this class or experience?
B) When you are asked to care for someone with a substance use disorder in the future, how might the experience of these groups inform your care? What are your conclusions about this overall experience, and did you find it helpful- why or why not? For more information on A Substance Use Disorder see this: https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/psychology/psychology-and-psychiatry/substance-abuse
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