The self-help movement has swept the world of substance abuse treatment. A new client may not be aware of any treatment options open to them aside from those of self-help group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. While self-help groups are not a solution for every client, they have been shown to be useful in some cases.
As future substance abuse counselors, it is important that you explore and be aware of the different self-help groups and what goes on in these group meetings.
Begin this assignment by doing the following:
Attend a self-help group related to substance abuse. There are multiple options including AA Open Meetings, Al-Anon, Women for Sobriety, and so forth. Information is easily accessible on the Internet. Note that some meetings are closed while others are open. At Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), most weekly groups are closed; however, open meetings are held primarily on weekends when all are welcome to attend.
Information for your area can be obtained through “AA Intergroup” at http://aa-intergroup.org/.
Introduce yourself and let folks know that you are a student. Remember to follow the guidelines of confidentiality.
If you are unable to access a twelve-step group because one is not available in your area, either research an online self-help group or research the implications of self-help groups in general including their strengths and weaknesses.
Write a paper about your experience and make sure you cover the following:
Evaluate the self-help group you attended and/or researched. Critique the strengths and weaknesses of self-help groups in terms of their value in the treatment of substance abuse.
Hypothesize what types of clients would be a good match for the group that you attended and/or researched. What types of clients would not be a good match? Consider age, gender, culture, race, sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the severity of substance abuse. Include other evaluation criteria for differential treatment. Explain your reasoning.
Predict how self-help groups are evolving over time. How can technology be used to supplement and/or replace face-to-face support groups?
Appraise the effect on the group experience when involuntary clients are present. Include the effect to treatment, counseling, and collaboration.
Recommend several ways to overcome resistance. How may technology be used to overcome resistance to treatment? Include collaboration issues involved in the treatment of involuntary clients using technology.
Write a paper in Word format and make sure you include a title page and reference page in addition to the 6–8-pages of content. Apply APA 6th edition standards to the format of the paper, and the citation of sources.
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