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In this discussion, emphasis will be placed on an NA group, which included people aged 25-38. The majority of members were men, and almost all people had problems with substance addiction and underlying psychological issues. Importantly, the presence of non-addicts was allowed to increase support. Considering the difference in depression status, some clients from the group claimed to attend individual therapy sessions with other specialists. As for the theory behind the practice, the sessions were structured using a standard 12-step model (Adams, 2015). Despite the seeming spiritual context of the steps, such concepts as the higher power were used metaphorically, and attention was drawn to working with members’ fears and removing harmful thoughts.
The sessions were structured in different ways to encourage both group and individual work; thus, it included free discussions and the use of exercise worksheets. One intervention used in the group was aimed at working with members’ interpersonal dealings. As a part of step 8, members needed to remember the cases when their addition had hurt other people and develop strategies to prevent it in the future (Dermatis & Galanter, 2016). Then, the members’ individual results were discussed. In reference to stages, this working group seemed to be in the norming stage since everyone understood the group’s common goals and tried to support others (Seck & Helton, 2014).
The group included two people with a problem behavior who underestimated the problems of others by saying that “they blacken the picture”. To deal with the issue, a group leader assigned those members with additional individual tasks, which was helpful. Concerning the therapeutic factors, they included an instillation of hope (members were supportive of each other), better social skills, and interpersonal learning. Co-leader issues were not relevant to the case since there was only one leader who seemed to enjoy authority.
From my experience with an NA group, it follows that dichotomous thinking can sometimes contribute to frustration and the feeling of helplessness. As a result, people who think in extremities become vulnerable to addictions. Many members of the group I observed started taking drugs due to some minor failures in life, and this assumption is supported by many scholars (Dehghanmehr et al., 2017). It is often believed that successful people should excel in anything they do, and it seems that many members of the NA group have become the victims of this controversial statement. I did not observe any interventions aimed at making the group members aware of the problem.
Adams, M. (2015). Integrating 12-Steps and psychotherapy: Helping clients find sobriety and recovery [Review of the book Integrating 12-Steps and psychotherapy: Helping clients find sobriety and recovery, by K. A. Osten & R. Switser]. Existential Analysis, 26(1), 180-183.
Dehghanmehr, S., Mir, A., Sheikhi, M., Mirshekari, N., Mirsargazi, Z., & Salarzaei, M. (2017). Main causes of drug compatibility and recurrence (a systematic review). Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 9(11), 2011-2015.
Dermatis, H., & Galanter, M. (2016). The role of twelve-step-related spirituality in addiction recovery. Journal of Religion and Health, 55(2), 510-521.
Seck, M. M., & Helton, L. (2014). Faculty development of a joint MSW program utilizing Tuckman’s model of stages of group development. Social Work with Groups, 37(2), 158-168.