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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

David William Best, Catherine Haslam, Petra Staiger, Genevieve Dingle, Michael Savic, Ramez Bathish, Jock Mackenzie, Melinda Beckwith and Dan I. Lubman

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how social identity change can support the TC objective of promoting “right living”. This is compatible with the literature on…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how social identity change can support the TC objective of promoting “right living”. This is compatible with the literature on addiction recovery which has shown that identity change is central to this process. While much of the earlier literature focussed primarily on an individual analysis of change, there is a growing body of research showing the important contribution that social networks, social group membership and associated social identities make to sustainable change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes baseline data for a multi-site prospective cohort study of 308 clients entering therapeutic community (TC) treatment and characterizes the presenting profile of this cohort on a range of social identity and recovery measures at the point of TC entry.

Findings

The sample was predominantly male with a mean age of 35 years, with the large majority having been unemployed in the month before admission. The most commonly reported primary substance was methamphetamine, followed by alcohol and heroin. The sample reported low rates of engagement in recovery groups, but access to and moderate degrees of social support was also reported in the period prior to admission.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights the important role that TCs play in facilitating identity change and in promoting sustainable recovery.

Practical implications

The paper discusses opportunities for working with social identities both during residence and in community re-integration, and highlights what TCs can do to support and sustain recovery.

Social implications

The paper brings to light the potential contribution of social group membership and social identity change to management of recovery in TC settings.

Originality/value

The study described provides an innovative way of assessing TC effectiveness and testing novel questions about the role of social identity and recovery capital as key predictors of change.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 December 2016

Cassandra Perryman, Genevieve Dingle and David Clark

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the changes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology during treatment in a drug and alcohol therapeutic community.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the changes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology during treatment in a drug and alcohol therapeutic community.

Design/methodology/approach

A repeated measures design was employed that looked at PTSD, depression, anxiety, and stress at a pre- and post-timepoint. A second sample was then evaluated at time of program completion to seven months post-treatment.

Findings

PTSD symptomatology significantly decreased in individuals who had undertaken treatment, and continued to decline post-treatment. This finding was irrespective of any PTSD-specific treatment.

Research limitations/implications

PTSD specific treatment is not necessary to lower the symptomatology. Furthermore, this provides evidence that PTSD and substance use disorders are so highly intertwined that the comorbidity can almost be considered a single, diagnosis.

Originality/value

This is a partial replication of previous research which had not previously been replicated. This research also adds to the limited research which looks at PTSD from the perspective of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

David Best, Dan I. Lubman, Michael Savic, Ann Wilson, Genevieve Dingle, S. Alexander Haslam, Catherine Haslam and Jolanda Jetten

There is considerable literature indicating the importance of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing. For problem substance users, a similar literature…

Abstract

Purpose

There is considerable literature indicating the importance of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing. For problem substance users, a similar literature emphasises the importance of the transition from a social network supportive of use to one that fosters recovery. Within this framework, the therapeutic community (TC) is seen as a critical location for adopting a transitional identity (i.e. from a “drug user” to a “member of the TC”), as part of the emergence of a “recovery identity” following treatment. The purpose of this paper is to outline a model for conceptualising and measuring identity based on the theories of social identity and recovery capital, and pilots this model within a TC setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A social identity mapping was used with TC residents to test their identification with “using” and “TC” groups, and their relationship to recovery capital.

Findings

The network mapping method was acceptable to TC residents, and provided valuable insights into the social networks and social identity of TC residents.

Research limitations/implications

This paper explores issues around mapping social identity and its potential in the TC and other residential settings.

Originality/value

The paper integrates a number of conceptual models to create a new framework for understanding transitions in social networks during treatment and reports on a novel measurement method underpinning this.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Cassandra Perryman and Genevieve Dingle

The purpose of this paper is to summarize research conducted in long-term residential rehabilitation centers, including therapeutic communities (TCs), in order to further…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarize research conducted in long-term residential rehabilitation centers, including therapeutic communities (TCs), in order to further clarify the effectiveness of this treatment approach and to evaluate the quality of TC research conducted in the period 2000-2013.

Design/methodology/approach

The composite search engine UQ database Summon were used to find articles with “Therapeutic Community” as title words, and the search was limited to adult participants, peer-reviewed articles, published between January 2000 and June 2013 in the English language. The review was conducted using Cochrane Collaboration methods and reported under the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses guidelines.

Findings

In total, 25 studies met inclusion criteria for the review and represented data from n=5,923 participants in the USA, Australia, Spain, England, and Belgium. Evidence supports the TC approach for a diverse range of individuals who misuse a range of substances. Several studies reported a relationship between retention and outcomes however dropout from treatment is a widespread issue. A paucity of research using multiple time points precludes any firm conclusions regarding the optimal length of treatment in a TC. There is a lack of research on the interplay between individual and community-level factors on client well-being, retention, and longer term outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

This review highlights the need for TC research that includes multiple time points and follow-up assessments, and measures of change in theoretically meaningful constructs alongside standard measures of demographics, substance use, and psychiatric symptoms.

Practical implications

The reporting format of TC research should be better standardized in order to create a better basis for research comparison. More standardized reporting would also allow for effect size analysis, and create a more efficacious evidence base.

Originality/value

This updates the systematic review body of research.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

Metal saved my life. It is not the first time and it probably will not be the last. The death of my mother when I was twenty-one meant that I was alone, and if it had not…

Abstract

Metal saved my life. It is not the first time and it probably will not be the last. The death of my mother when I was twenty-one meant that I was alone, and if it had not been for metal, my grieving process may have been the end of my story. The death, of course, is one thing, but mourning is something that surfaces many years after the event. If I had not bought my first guitar the year she died, the last nineteen years of my life would follow a very different narrative.

I firmly believe that metal and metal performance prevented my suicide and any plans for revenge. It matched my pain, sonically, texturally, musically and aesthetically. It initiated a cathartic process that I have returned to since, because it offers me emotional and psychological balance that other music forms do not. This may be a purely subjective engagement, but that is precisely the point.

Remembering this time in my life is not easy, and can often come in hesitations, blanks and painful memories. By using interpretive performance autoethnography, a methodology that Laurel Richardson calls CAP or creative analytic practice (Richardson, 2000, p. 929) means:

[it] allows the researcher to take up a person’s life in its immediate particularity and to ground the life in its historical moment. We move back and forth in time, using a version of Sartre’s progressive-regressive method. Interpretation works forward to the conclusion of a set of acts taken up by the subject while working back in time, interrogating the historical, cultural, and biographical conditions that moved the person to experience the events being studied

Through this methodological application, this paper seeks to analyse how metal and metal performance helped me write my trauma into a performing life that ultimately liberated me from my grief.

Details

Music and Death: Interdisciplinary Readings and Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-945-3

Keywords

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