Across mental health and behavioural problems, ‘Dodo bird’ findings that bona fide therapies have similar effects have turned attention to the ‘common factors’ they share rather than how they differ. A collection specially catalogued to explore this important issue starting with the analyses most recently added or updated, totalling today 82 documents.
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STUDY 1970 HTM file
Frontiers of alcoholism
Later to become founding director of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in the late 1950s Dr Morris Chafetz of the Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a remarkable series of studies which proved that an alcohol clinic's intake and performance can be transformed by the simple application of empathy and organisation.
From the comprehensive treatment process data collected by a major national US study emerges the important lesson that retention in itself is not an active ingredient in post-treatment outcomes but reflects influences such having one's needs met (especially important for women) and developing a good relationship with the service and your key worker.
Analysis of counselling session recordings from therapists trained in motivational interviewing suggests that the important quality of seeming 'genuine' can suffer if training mandates unnaturally withholding normal responses; however, departing from these tenets is risky unless done by a socially skilled therapist.
The US company which owns and markets the controversial PROMETA proprietary combination of drugs for methamphetamine dependence funded a rigorous trial by independent researchers; the result was a no-better-than-placebo verdict, another negative in the search for drugs to counter stimulant dependence.
REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Motivational interviewing for substance abuse
Across the most rigorous studies, this synthesis of the research finds therapies based on motivational interviewing better than doing nothing, but no more effective than usual/other treatments for problem drinkers and drugtakers – powerful further support for the 'Dodo bird' verdict that all bona fide therapies are equivalent.
Conducted in England, this first study to test positive psychology approaches focused on strengths and wellbeing in the treatment of substance use problems found that a small group of young drinkers and drug users responded well, with substantial remission in alcohol dependence despite the non-substance focus of the group therapy.
The contemporary recovery movement in addictions and the positive psychology movement in the broader field of psychological health have recently grown in prominence but almost entirely in parallel streams, yet the overlaps and possible synergies between them suggest that an integration could be a step forward in recovery from addiction.
Dutch general practice patients at risk of cardiovascular disease did not further reduce their risks (including drinking and smoking) in response to motivational counselling from the practice nurse. Why did a well worked out, multi-session intervention fail to better usual care? The probable answer is among the common factors which transcend therapies.
For the first time this Canadian randomised study has shown that training probation officers in the risk-need-responsivity model of offender supervision can not only improve their skills and sharpen their practice, but also reduce the recidivism of the offenders they supervise, among whom substance use was a major issue.
How to get parents more engaged in becoming a positive influence over their seriously delinquent drug abusing teenagers through family therapy integrated in to a US juvenile drug court. Some of the therapist tactics expected to work did deepen engagement, others did not.
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