Psychologist Understanding of Relapse then Addiction - Research Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1686 Words
Date:  2021-03-31


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Relapse is a common phenomenon associated with persons recovering from addiction. In most cases, the understanding of the psychological perspective of the notion has created a controversy in understanding the best approach to intervention measures. This paper is an evaluation of an interview with a psychologist to ascertain the perspective of relapse from the cognitive dimension. The article includes an elaboration of the meaning and nature of relapse as a process that is affecting people in a recovery process. The paper presents an assessment of the interview responses based on relapse as a process. A theoretical review and analysis are considered under discussion to ascertain the correlation between the responses during the interview and the theoretical framework associated with relapse. Finally, the paper recommends appropriate intervention measures about each stage of relapse. The paper concludes that relapse should be addressed as a process where each step requires the intervention of both the therapist and the affected person.

Table of Contents

Abstract 2
1.0 Introduction 4
2.0 Findings Based on the Interview Responses 5
2.1 Profile of the Respondent and Rationale for Choice 5
2.2 Findings Relating to Key Sentiments 5
2.2.1 Introductory Overview: Understanding Relapse 5
2.2.2 Stages of Relapse 6
2.2.3 Response on Prevention and Reliability of Cognitive Therapy 8
3.0 Discussion: Theoretical Overview 9
3.1 Correlation of the Interview with the Marlatt Model of Cognitive Behavior 9
3.2 Analysis and Application of the Marlatt Model of Cognitive Behavior 9
4.0 Recommendations and Refection 11
5.0 Conclusion 13
References 14

1.0 Introduction

The process of rehabilitation for addictive tendencies is one of the psychological measures used to mitigate the dependency rate among the victims. In most cases, when individuals are subjected to long periods away from the substance that caused addiction then they are guaranteed of a recovery process. Nevertheless, some cases may also arise where people undergoing the recovery process tend to move away from the positive change and invite the previous cravings (Notley et al., 2015). The process where an individual is not paying attention to the recovery process and are unconsciously moving to the initial tendencies of addition is called relapse. Therefore, a critical evaluation of the occurrence of relapse indicates that it occurs concurrently during recovery. In some cases, relapse may occur more than twice during the recovery.

Moreover, relapse is considered as the act of going back to taking drugs after some period in the recovery process. Such argument and notions are not correct since relapse is not associated with the taking of narcotics after a significant period of recovery or abstinence. The psychological understanding and perspective of a relapse case consider the various dimensions associated with relapse, which makes it a process. The theoretical perspective, as well as individual critical assessments of relapse as a process, indicates different perceptions among scholars (McGovern, Wrisley, & Drake, 2005). Therefore, the paper presents a psychologist understanding of relapse and addiction based on a qualitative interview with a professional psychologist. The article includes an introduction, a summary of the interview responses, and a critical discussion based on established theories in the field of psychology and behavior. Finally, the paper concludes that the understanding of relapse as a process is essential for the establishment of intervention approaches.

2.0 Findings Based on the Interview Responses

2.1 Profile of the Respondent and Rationale for Choice

The interview was based on the experience and expertise of Hart Berry who is a professional psychologist as well as a behavior consultant and an expert in guidance and counseling. Hart experience in analysis of behavior and assisting victims of addiction spans through a period of ten years. Having Hart for the interview was an essential achievement for this paper since his professionalism depicted a range of dimensions to the understanding of drug addiction, relapse, and recovery processes. The interview process included the approval of the request which the interviewer expressed the interests. A preliminary meeting was scheduled to discuss the modalities as well as the setting a date for the interview. Hart agreed to the proposal, and an interview was scheduled. During the interview process, the interview questions were designed to ensure that Hart explains his understanding of the relapse process and possible mitigation measures about addiction. The interview took an hour, and the following is a summary of the key factors and arguments that Hart presented regarding the specific questions.

2.2 Findings Relating to Key Sentiments

2.2.1 Introductory Overview: Understanding Relapse

According to Hart, relapse is a gradual process that requires comprehensive approach and mitigation measures to control and prevent the implications. The need for a practical approach for both an individual or group recovery process is part of the current concern for psychologists in the present century. Nevertheless, Hart ascertained that the critical element associated with management and prevention of relapse is the understanding of the fact that it occurs in stages and within an extended period. In this case, Hart implied that sufficient consideration of the states associated with relapse is essential in establishing mitigation and preventive methodologies. Hart stressed on the need for individuals to identify the early indicators of possible relapse and seek professional attention and medical assistance in particular cases. Early intervention is associated with significant positive outcomes and successful recovery process as opposed to extreme stages when minimum guarantee for positive results is presented. Therefore, Hart affirms that relapse process occurs in three major stages associated with emotions, mental, and physical dimensions.

2.2.2 Stages of Relapse

Hart identifies emotional relapse as the initial stage where the victims on a recovery process prefer not to think about their addiction. Therefore, this stage is associated with denial, and one can identify this stage based on several symptoms. In this state, an individuals behavior depicts isolation, withdrawal, and limited involvement and participation when engaged in an activity. A person is associated with low self-care, which takes the physical, emotional, and psychological dimensions. At this stage, lack of appropriate intervention may lead to prolonged poor self-care that increases the possibility of the victim advancing to the next relapse stage. Therefore, Hart recommended early and proper therapies meant to assist the affected person to acknowledge their denial and improve their self-care based on the magnitude of the emotional relapse.

Hart went ahead to explain the second stage called the mental relapse, which emanates from the lack of interventions during emotional relapse. At this level, Hart argued that the person is subjected to constant mental controversy where a part of them insist on going back to the previously abused substances while another part insists on refraining. Therefore, the victim is subjected to antagonistic mental pressure. Nevertheless, since the previous stage was not associated with any notable intervention, the capacity to resist declines slowly as the tendency to a high desire increases. At this level, the victim recalls the moments associated with the past use and addiction, which may include the people and places. In some cases, the individual may also be having intense cravings, start planning for opportunities, and develops bargaining tendencies to justify their mental convictions. Most people at this stage of relapse establish mechanisms, which they believe will be essential in controlling the use of the previously abused substances. Hart explained that therapeutic interventions should be channeled towards reducing high-level risks as well as the chances of advancing to the final stage of relapse. Moreover, Hart affirms that the ability of interventions to bring positive changes depends on the level of mental convictions the person has attained or developed. For example, a victim of relapse with a firm belief that avoiding high-risk is weakness or are associated with strong bargain thinking may pose a challenge for specialist during the therapy process.

The final stage as Hart highlighted involves the physical relapse, which he explained involves the repetition of indulgence or reuse of the substances. The person goes back to the initial stage before the initiation of a recovery process. Hart pointed out that the step involves the lapse where an individual starts using the substances at the same rate as the first addiction. After some time, the person thinks about the previous use and starts failing to appreciate the magnitude of indulgence, which leads to unlimited use, which he called the relapse. At this stage, Hart categorically stated that the victims usually take advantage of existing opportunities. Therefore, at this stage, a more advanced method is required to discourage the developing tendency since a high mental conviction during mental relapse affected the capacity to judge from the perspective of the associated effects.

2.2.3 Response on Prevention and Reliability of Cognitive Therapy

During the interview, Hart explained that the process of preventing relapse should be based on cognitive therapy, which is focused on transforming the metal thoughts to a more stable status to encourage active and healthy thinking. The tendency to relapse is based on the ability of individuals to dwell on experiences, which awakens the previous desires. Hart outlined how those affected by addiction tend to accumulate negative thinking mingled with fear of the unknown and belonging. However, effective strategies meant to balance between positivity and the negative tendency will be essential if the focus will be channeled towards reducing the cognitive obstacles to the effective recovery process. Individuals experiencing relapse mostly are concerned with what other persons are thinking about them, worry about what they might became, afraid of changes, and in some case, are unable to comprehend life without the substances initially abused. Therefore, according to Hart, cognitive therapy should consider the diversity of mental perceptions of each person, which is significantly diverse.

Moreover, Hart pointed out that the process of thinking during the onset of relapse is characterized by the additive-based thoughts and reasoning, which tend to negate any positive thought that might cross the mind. At this stage, cognitive therapy becomes essential in ensuring that the anxieties, depressions, and resentments are under control. Since most recovering individuals tend to perceive failures as drawbacks, Hart explained that such phenomenon is critical for them, which requires an external boost to encourage positivity. During the interview, it was also evident that the capacity of an individual to handle setbacks determines their ability to resist advancing from mental relapse to physical relapse. Therefore, Hart ascertained that cognitive therapy is essential in redefining fun, stabilizing fear, and setting the baseline where individuals can positively learn from setbacks. Such achiev...

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Psychologist Understanding of Relapse then Addiction - Research Paper Example. (2021, Mar 31). Retrieved from

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