Date of Graduation
The current practice of alcohol treatment in many agencies implies the distinction between addiction treatment and mental health treatment. This study attempted to investigate how the psychologists and addiction counselors might possess different philosophies and treatment approaches. It also attempted to examine how the differences might affect linkages across service system boundaries. Subjects were professionals who were actively involved in the treatment of problem drinking. Samples were selected from psychologists affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) and alcoholism counselors affiliated with the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). A survey questionnaire was sent to each subject, gathering information regarding subjects' treatment philosophies, treatment approaches, and collaboration between the two professional groups. A total of 231 subjects who returned the questionnaires were included in the study. The results of this study showed that professional differences in alcoholism treatment were quite complex. The psychologists and addiction counselors presented with some significant differences in their philosophies and treatment approaches; they also presented with some striking similarities. In many ways these two groups of professionals were not distinctly different. Although the addiction counselors were more likely to ascribe to the disease concept and twelve-step model, both were also popular among the psychologists. The majority of the addiction counselors supported abstinence as the treatment goal while the psychologists tended to be more lenient and open to the possibility of controlled drinking. The addiction counselors tended to focus mostly on addictive behaviors in their clinical practice. The psychologists appeared to pay more attention to personal issues than the addiction counselors. Generally, the addiction counselors appeared to be a more homogeneous group than the psychologists in terms of preferences of philosophies and clinical practice. Instead of incompatible philosophies and treatment approaches, subjects participating in this study reported another greater difficulty when they attempted to cooperate with the other professional group, that was, clients did not complete alcoholism treatment. Follow-up practice was found to be insufficient in both professional groups. The implications for clinical practice, the limitations of the study, and the implications for further research were discussed.
Hshieh, Stella Y., "Alcohol treatment issues: Professional differences." (1995). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9064.