Addiction is one of the most common and yet most difficult issues in mental health. It is often thought of as a specialist area that can only be treated by those who have personal experience of addiction. This workshop will explore definitions, controversies, and consensus on both causes and clinical implications. As well considering definitions from various sources (NHS, NICE, 12-Step, trauma literature, for example), we will draw out some implications for the practice for therapists and counsellors. Those evidence-based implications are often counter to our intuition: for example, clinicians who have overcome addictions themselves are no more effective at helping clients than those who have no personal experience of addiction. We will conclude by looking at the evidence for 12-step recovery, and how it sits alongside motivational interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as part of the suite of interventions recommended by the NHS and the NICE clinical guidelines.
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: