Planting the seeds of change: Directionality in the narrative construction of recovery from addiction
Kougiali, G., Fasulo, Alessandra, Needs, Adrian and Van Laar, Darren 2017. Planting the seeds of change: Directionality in the narrative construction of recovery from addiction. Psychology and Health. 32 (6), pp. 639-664. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2017.1293053
|Authors||Kougiali, G., Fasulo, Alessandra, Needs, Adrian and Van Laar, Darren|
Objective: The dominant theoretical perspective that guides treatment evaluations in addiction assumes linearity in the relationship between treatment and outcomes, viewing behaviour change as a ‘before and after event’. In this study we aim to examine how the direction of the trajectory of the process from addiction to recovery is constructed in personal narratives of active and recovering users.
Design: 21 life stories from individuals at different stages of recovery and active use were collected and analysed following the principles of narrative analysis.
Results: Personal trajectories were constructed in discontinuous, non-linear and long lasting patterns of repeated, and interchangeable, episodes of relapse and abstinence. Relapse appeared to be described as an integral part of a learning process through which knowledge leading to recovery was gradually obtained.
Conclusion: The findings show that long-term recovery is represented as being preceded by periods of discontinuity before change is stabilised. Such periods are presented to be lasting longer than most short-term pre-post intervention designs can capture and suggest the need to rethink how change is defined and measured.
|Keywords||addiction/substance use; behaviour change; narratives; recovery; processes of change|
|Journal||Psychology and Health|
|Journal citation||32 (6), pp. 639-664|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for European Health Psychology Society|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2017.1293053|
|01 Mar 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||02 Mar 2017|
|Accepted||04 Feb 2017|
|Copyright information||This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Psychology and Health on 01/03/2017, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2017.1293053|
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