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Matrix Row logo The talking road to recovery
Time to consolidate the lessons of the last five instalments of the course on drug treatment research, selecting and discussing key studies on psychosocial therapies for drug dependence. Research teaches us to see these as the enactment of the client-worker relationship within the helpful or hindering contexts of management systems and organisational climates, and the possibilities enabled or closed off by local treatment systems.

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Cell A4 Individuals, not programmes
The effectiveness record of psychosocial interventions ranging from mutual support groups through to professionally delivered psychological programmes. ‘Programmes’ is perhaps the wrong word though. Unlike public health approaches, treatment is essentially the treatment of an individual.
Also see hot topics on contingency management, residential rehabilitation, motivational interviewing, 12-step mutual aid and counselling in methadone treatment.

Cell B4 Elusively important: the practitioner in psychosocial therapies
Takes Carl Rogers’ seminal work as its starting point, explains why being genuine sometimes means breaking the ‘rules’, and why effective therapy is not just a matter of being nice. Finally guides you through the complexities which – despite its obvious importance to clients – obscure the impact of the client-worker relationship.
Also see hot topic on treatment staff.

Cell C4 Performance feedback critical to workforce development
Findings on management and supervision in psychosocial therapies challenge managers to invest in the post-training ‘coaching’ needed to make a difference for patients, and to set up systems alerting therapists to how well their clients are doing – especially when they are doing badly.

Cell D4 Organisation-level influences
See if you agree that “organizational climate underlies the entire process of innovation adoption”, appreciate the obstructive effect of high staff turnover and how to reduce it, ask yourself, “Is my service even ready for change?” – and explore whether change driven by money is just as good for patients as that motivated by a desire to improve their lives.
Also see hot topic on why some treatment services are more effective than others.

Cell E4 Psychosocial approaches as part of the system
Seemingly the only feasible way to do more (recovery) with less (money), mutual aid is a major theme. Examine the evidence for whether systematically promoting engagement with mutual aid groups boosts outcomes, or just attendance. At the other end of the expense spectrum is residential rehabilitation. Should it be used more often, or remain a ‘last resort’?
Also see hot topics on residential rehabilitation and commissioning substance use treatment systems.

Alcohol Treatment Matrix for alcohol brief interventions and treatment
Drug Treatment Matrix for harm reduction and treatment in relation to illegal drugs
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The Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank offers a free mailing list service updating subscribers to UK-relevant evaluations of drug/alcohol interventions. Findings is supported by Alcohol Research UK and the Society for the Study of Addiction and advised by the National Addiction Centre.