Psychotherapy for Clients with Addictive Disorders

Topic: Professional Psychology
Words: 677 Pages: 2


Drug addiction is an exceedingly destructive disorder, as it is represented in persistent severe mental and physical dependence on the effects of the drug. These substances can cause a state of extreme intoxication, rapid obsession, and addiction with devastating consequences. The treatment process must correspond to all the individual characteristics of the body, psyche, and the degree of dependence of the patient. When diagnosing an addictive disorder, it is always critical to complete a necessary examination based on information provided by psychologists, experts, and consultants in addictive disorders, as well as psychiatrists (MayoClinic, n.d.). A drug test is a series of laboratory examinations that determine whether a person has used drugs. They are prescribed both for diagnostic purposes and as part of a forensic medical examination. As a material for research, patients can provide blood, urine, saliva, hair, or nails. This study includes various categories of affected individuals and provides results-oriented toward a general approach to treatment.

The Study Characteristics

Walter’s selected article includes a review of 17 studies that have examined the effectiveness of behavioral self-management in severe alcohol dependence. The study included all categories of people with varying degrees of alcohol dependence. An analysis of all the collected information indicated that targeted training in self-management methods was superior to the control absence and alternative interventions. The study highlights the effectiveness of treatment in meeting the needs of people with addiction healthily: their diet, social and work environment, and most importantly, their medical requirements. Numerous additional sources, such as AllCEUs, also highlight the concept that the best practice and professional intervention should focus on the patient’s skills and strengths for self-care (n.d). According to Walter, a precise approach to addiction treatment is the use of a Psychological (self-medication) Model. The author reasons that addictive disorders may be caused primarily by mental factors such as divergence in thinking, emotion regulation, or learning processes (Walter, 2017). The treatment method is a combination of abstinence education, behavioral self-management, education, group or individual counseling, and pharmacotherapy. All processes should be supervised by professionals who give strong motivation and a sense of confidence in actions.

The Study Outcomes and Limitations

The principal outcome shows that effective treatment attends to the multiple needs of individuals: nutrition, social and work environments, and medical necessities. The best approach is to concentrate on a patient’s proficiency and strengths. After examining general behavioral self-control training, the results of Walter’s study were divided into those that examined the amount of drug (alcohol) consumption and those that assessed alcohol-related difficulties. In terms of a detailed examination of the data used, 49 different amounts of alcohol consumption were classified. The results of the meta-analysis highlighted the importance of behavioral self-control training versus conventional abstinence-oriented treatment. However, the effect size did not reach statistical significance. Additional analysis showed that self-management training is effective for supportive follow-up of patients during long periods of recovery (Walter, 2000). The implications of these findings for interventions with alcohol abuse clients are still discussed. The study has several limitations, such as insufficient categorization of patients according to their age groups, individual features, and social status. These characteristics may directly impact the psychological state of the patient and his self-control during the period of remission.


The study may be applicable in the treatment of clients with any degree of alcohol dependence. It reveals a practical methodology based not on pharmaceutical intervention but on the patient’s inner state. This treatment strategy is not new, but any research and statistics may play an essential role in the overall analytics. For example, Yang Chunyu et al. also raised the topic of self-control’s importance as a treatment tool focusing mainly on self-esteem and resilience (2019). All these methods help people with substance abuse adapt to strategies developed to help them quit the addiction. They learn about the various triggers that can bring them back to using drugs, which allows them to avoid risks and control their behavior. Compared to other therapies, the Psychological (self-medication) Model of addiction treatment successfully reduces substance use by focusing on the patient’s self-awareness.


Yang, C., Zhou, Y., Cao, Q., Xia, M., & An, J. (2019). The relationship between self-control and self-efficacy among patients with substance use disorders: Resilience and self-esteem as mediators. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Web.

Walters, G. D. (2000). Behavioral self-control training for problem drinkers: A meta-analysis of randomized control studies. Behavior Therapy, 31(1), 135-149. Web.

Drug addiction (substance use disorder). (n.d.). MayoClinic. Web.

Continuing education & Online certification training. (n.d.). Allceus. Web.

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