Matrix row 4 Alcohol Matrix Bites row 4: The talking road to recovery
Cells and bites in row 4 are about therapies in which human interaction is intended to be the main active ingredient. Psychosocial or ‘talking’ therapies are the mainstay of alcohol dependence treatment. If they are not up to scratch or misunderstood, we risk the bulk of patients doing less well than they could. Click titles below to open your chosen cell with the ready-unfolded bite.

The five cells

Cell A4. Therapies; effectiveness and general principles
Asks whether therapists really can make things worse, points out that while research has to package interventions, real-world therapy does not, and invites you to critique the American Psychological Association’s list of the most important elements of addiction therapy.

Cell B4. Impact of practitioners on psychosocial therapies
Highlights the seminal study which seemed to prove the importance of Carl Rogers’ classic formulation of therapeutic essentials such as empathy, and asks: Are they really all that is needed? And can being genuine mean breaking other therapy ‘rules’?

Cell C4. Impact of management on psychosocial therapies
Whether alcoholics be taught to control their drinking was the issue in the bitterest series of disputes in the history of alcohol treatment research. You are also invited to consider if good counsellors are found, can be taught by classes, or have to coached.

Cell D4. Organisational influences on psychosocial therapies
Money or vocation; does it matter? Is change driven by money just as good for patients as change motivated by the desire to improve their lives? Students are invited to try a mind experiment to see whether it would matter to them.

Cell E4. Psychosocial approaches in treatment systems
At the heart of this bite is guidance from the UK’s official health advisory body (NICE) on how to organise and procure treatment systems. Why did they recommend 12-week therapy packages? And why no evidence for the core care coordination role?

More ways to appreciate the matrices
Visit the matrices page of the Effectiveness Bank web site for articles, presentations, and a video explaining their genesis and construction.