Archive for April, 2008

April 18

A Theory of Addiction Relapse Prevention

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | No Comments

When I first decided to write an article about relapse prevention, I felt anxious about what to include or exclude. I initially thought about all the material I have on relapse prevention, and how I could integrate it into one article. The truth is, I consider everything I do in treatment as relapse prevention, with the exception of helping someone get into treatment when they are actively using.

Over the course of my career I have written my own outlines for educational groups and the handouts, which I recently turned into a workbook being edited for publishing. The first educational group in my curriculum is on the disease concept. I believe all relapse prevention starts here. Accepting that one has a …

April 15

Psychotherapy in the Era of Televised Treatment

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These days you can’t turn on your television without sitting through a pseudo therapy session. From the trendsetter Dr. Phil to Tony Soprano’s “shrink”, to new series like HBO’s “In Treatment,” and reality TV series “Intervention” and “Celebrity Rehab,” psychotherapy has become home entertainment. However, it is important to discuss how psychotherapy differs from its representation on television.

Although some shows do a reasonable job of portraying the real dynamics of therapy, (albeit slightly more dramatic at times) others can be misleading. As a psychotherapist, my greatest concern is that people are basing their decisions of whether or not to seek treatment on false representations of two critical issues: the prevalence of confrontation, and inappropriate relationships.

For instance, one of the …

April 4

Societal Perception of Addiction

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Articles | 4 Comments

In 1956 the American Medical Association labeled alcoholism as an illness, and in 1966 upgraded the identification to a disease. In professional circles today alcoholism is viewed as one form of addiction. Most therapists and treatment centers view addiction through the disease model. Yet the societal view of addiction often remains one of stigmatization, and is largely misunderstood.

First it is important to define addiction. Addiction is not defined simply by daily use, using needles, becoming homeless, or losing employment. These may be true of someone with an addiction, but are not requirements. Basically, addiction for this article is defined as an unhealthy relationship with a substance, resulting in consequences. These consequences can be financial, social, biological, or within the …