Developmental Model in Alcoholism

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Video: Treating Alcoholism in Psychotherapy – The Developmental Model in Action (, 2006) This video is presented by Dr. Stephanie Brown and demonstrates the use of the Developmental Model in Psychotherapy. The Developmental Model maintains that recovery begins with abstinence but must keep developing and changing throughout each of the four stages of recovery – drinking, transition, early recovery, ongoing recovery. This model also presents the idea that the job of developing each stage can be addressed with multiple treatments and need not be limited to only one. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is identified as a key component to the treatment process. I have never been privy to a private counseling session between a therapist and his/her patient. This video has provided me with an example of very specific counseling techniques in action. I believe that seeing concepts in action is an excellent tool to demonstrate their use, rather than merely reading about them in a book. As I was watching the video, I found myself imagining sitting in the therapist’s place and shadowing her behaviour. For the first time, I could actually see myself making a career out of alcoholism and addiction counselling and this has been an encouraging experience. This presentation taught me that the therapist must have ample self-awareness regarding their own opinions about AA and their personal views on addiction and losing control. As a therapist, my personal views should not dictate my treatment approach. I also recognised several techniques used by Dr. Brown. She practices reflection of feeling without criticism and translates the patient’s words to present them with a clearer picture of what they are feeling. Dr. Brown also skilfully zeroes in on alcohol as soon as it enters the discussion, and she keeps bringing it back as the focus of the dialogue. She also points out

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