An exploration of the effect of family interaction within the treatment and aftercare programme of addiction

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Farrelly, Aiveen
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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The dark shadows of the soul can only be illuminated by understanding, for it is in the understanding of the shadow held inside the Self which frees the potential to flourish and live life to our best ability. In exploring the effect of family interaction within the treatment and aftercare programme of addiction, the main aim is to gain understanding. Not only for the individual suffering the addiction, but also for the family in their attempt to support or mitigate the consequences of their loved ones addiction. Therefore, this research seeks to explore the opinions of those working in the field of addiction on what effect they feel such interaction can bring. The sample chosen was three therapists presently working within a treatment centre and two aftercare facilitators who work in an aftercare group. The process of thematic analysis was applied to the data gathered from semi-structured interviews. Three salient superordinate themes emerged from such analysis 1) Gift of Truth, 2) Hindrance or a Help and 3) Human Fallibilities. These themes were then each divided into three separate subordinate themes which were discussed extensively. The understanding gained from this research shone light on how the families can contribute both negatively and positively to the substance user’s engagement with the treatment and aftercare programmes of addiction. The findings also showed the influence of the professional’s opinion of family interaction within the treatment setting, and its potential effect on all parties involved. Understanding towards each other and a consequential emerging awareness proved to have profound positive effect for all involved. Conversely, dysfunctional entrenched and habituated ways of inter-relating and communicating to another had an equally negative influential effect on the outcome of recovery. Author keywords: Family effect of treatment of addiction