Substance Abuse Group Psychotherapy Proposal for a Diverse Homeless Population
We find several problems associated with substance abuse people in our environment. Researches show that men are more likely to develop a substance abuse personality. As a result they lose jobs and homes. Uncountable homeless families depend on substance abuse men. A variety of group treatments are employed to meet the needs of such people during the recovery process. This essay is a substance abuse psychotherapy proposal for a diverse homeless population. A group of male gender, having age in between 35 to 44, can be treated employing an activity.
A Substance Abuse Group Psychotherapy Proposal for a Diverse Homeless Population
Substance abuse is a killing habit and it often begins early in the lives of men. During the teen or young adult years, men often start using drugs and alcohol. Initially it is just limited as a casual or social use but slowly it turns to abuse and addiction. There are several reasons behind substance abuse in men. It is not only harmful to the man himself but also to the people associated with him. The purpose of writing this substance abuse psychotherapy proposal is to identify the stages of recovery in substance abuse homeless men of age in between 35 to 44.
Risks of using drugs or drinking too much include suicide, anxiety, depression, employment problems, risky sexual behavior, violence, health problems and addiction (physical dependence and uncontrollable cravings). Substance abuse men become violent against their loved ones and they encounter health problems such as HIV and cancer.
The rationale for recovery of a substance abuse group is to provide the right treatment divided in to several sessions. "Treatment as a time-dependent process should be the guiding principle when working with people with addictions in group…what works for the client without addictions will not always work with a client with addictions" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). We are considering a substance abuse group of men; our recovery sessions will slowly make them quit the abuse of the substance.
It is important to understand eight aspects before dealing a substance abuse group. Understanding substance abuse, stages of recovery, risks and health hazards, social dimensions, mental disorders, progressing towards a change, relapse prevention and treatment planning are the tools of the professionals, who are treating a substance abuse group. Keeping all these aspects in mind will allow the professionals to work and focus in a better way.
Professionals working on a substance abuse group employ various group treatment models. A combination of methodology and group goals is a primary way of defining the use of groups. The therapy will be based on five group models namely: Psycho-educational groups, Support groups, Skills development groups, Problem solving groups and Interpersonal process groups. Each group will have some unique to offer for the diverse homeless population.
The substance abuse men group can have ten to fifteen people; all having age in between 35 to 44. The treatment has five models, as mentioned above; each model has specific characteristics, appropriate techniques and leadership requisites. In the substance abuse treatment field, there are some other groups that function as unique entities. These are namely: Relapse prevention treatment groups, Communal and culturally specific treatment groups and Expressive groups. The expressive groups include psychodrama, dance and art therapy.
Some groups that can be used in the treatment of a substance abuse group are mentioned in the table (Table 1) below. These just demonstrate a clear picture of groups found in the settings of substance abuse treatment. The group of homeless substance abuse men will slowly get motivated; their substance abuse behavior will change. To observe them, the professional have to keep six categories in mind. These categories are namely; contemplation, pre-contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, recurrence. Pre-contemplation is when the clients are not thinking about the changing behavior of the substance abuse. In simple words they will not consider their substance abuse as a big problem. When the clients continue using the substance but they plan to quit; they are in contemplation category. When the clients are using the substance but they are aware of the advantages of quitting the substance abuse, they are in the preparation category. When the clients choose any strategy in order to quit the substance abuse, they are in the action category. When clients are able to sustain the abstinence of the substance abuse, they are in the maintenance category. Unfortunately some clients revert back to the first stage and due to some reason their former attempts are defeated. This is the recurrence stage.
Table 1: Groups found in the settings of substance abuse treatment
Group Model or Combination of Models
Cognitive -- Behavioral Therapy
Trauma (abuse, violence)
Substance abuse education
Ceremonial healing practices
Family roles (psychoeducational)
Life skills training
Health and wellness
Cognitive -- behavioral
"People with addictions remain vulnerable during the middle phase of treatment; cognitive capacity usually begins to return to normal, the mind can still play tricks. Clients may remember the comfort of their past use of substances yet forget just how bad the rest of their lives were" (Flores & Georgi 2005). The treatment professionals have to choose appropriate methods and group models at a particular time. This depends on the state of change in the behavior of the clients. According to our strategy and group proposal, the group consists of ten t fifteen men. They are homeless hence they have a distributed family. We will be paying our complete attention on them in order to bring each one of them out from the substance abuse habit. We have to make them realize that the substance abuse is spoiling their health as well as their personal and social lives.
One of our objectives is to observe the changes occurring in their behavior with the passage of time. We will then choose the right treatment model and methodology to speed up the recovery process. Various therapies are available; the members of this substance abuse group will require individual attention as each one of them has a different background, stress levels and reasons that led to the substance abuse.
Beginning with the psycho-educational group, these groups will be designed specifically to educate the substance abuse men regarding their behaviors and consequences. In this group they will be taught using lectures, audio cassettes and video cassettes. Any one group leader will be given the responsibility to facilitate the material's discussions. The substance abused men will be encouraged to instill self-awareness, change and growth in their lives. They will be able to understand the recovery process. The purpose of the psycho-educational group is to expand the awareness about psychological, medical and behavioral consequences of any substance abuse. The principal characteristics of this group will be to teach the substance abuse men in order to learn to avoid and identify the external and internal states and circumstances related with the substance abuse.
In the Skills Development Group, skill development techniques will be applied to in order to incorporate some psycho-educational elements in to the members of the group. The substance abuse men will be provided skills to refuse and avoid triggers for substance abuse. They have to manage their anger in such situations. Also they have to relax and solve problems on their own. It is essential to make them relearn all the old skills for quick recovery. The principal characteristics of this group is t enhance or develop general skills. The substance abuse men will learn to control powerful emotions. They have to improve their refusal skills when moving around people, who are involved in taking drugs and alcoholism. The skills development groups will have less number of sessions. It is necessary that the group size should not increase more than 10 members. It is expected that that the behavior of the substance abuse men will gradually change. This is because they will be striving hard to develop certain abilities and skills within themselves. Some of them might have led a pessimist life, therefore they will have to develop skills to become able to take a stand for themselves.
A well established part of substance abuse treatment is the cognitive behavioral group. This group covers a wide range of unique formats. The purpose behind the functioning of this group is dependency, which is conceptualized as a learned behavior. The physiological and genetic factors are the key etiological determinants of dependency. This therapy works for changing the learned behavior of substance abuse group. When drug abuse men will enter this group, they will have some common beliefs such as "I'm different" or "I'm unlovable" etc. Basically these beliefs and cognitions will be changed that will lead them to maintain productive live. The principal characteristics of this group are to provide some specific protocols for intervention of various techniques. One…