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This is the Charity’s new blog providing insights into the addictions field. We hope you will find it interesting and thought provoking

Come Together

Addiction treatment programmes which use an interpersonal approach, whether residential or community based, require staff to be organised, managed and supervised from an “interpersonal perspective”.
*an approach that recognises and understands the importance of relationships between people


There are important parallels between the clients’ treatment processes and the way that treatment teams interact, both with clients and colleagues.  If the client group is attempting to replace their dysfunctional addictive thinking (and behaviours) with healthier ways of operating, they will need a staff team that has a comprehensive understanding of what is required to help them achieve this and who are able to avoid getting themselves entangled in the dysfunction. As this incorporates all aspects of the “treatment” experience, not just the medical and counselling/psychosocial interactions; there needs to be an inclusive approach.

Practically this means that all staff, such as admissions and referral workers, managers, administrators, kitchen and housekeeping staff, should understand how the treatment community works and what part they have to play in its day to day functioning.  This can be achieved by a regular programme of training for all staff on important aspects of the treatment programme and by reinforcing the concept of the “treatment community” by having regular meetings (usually weekly) of the whole community. These meetings will give everyone an opportunity to reflect on how the community is functioning and to address any obstacles or difficulties that arise.  In addition it is also important to implement a supervision model that takes into account the complexities of interpersonal relationships between clients, staff and others such as family members or other professionals.  Supervision in Action on Addiction treatment programmes is group based (incorporating staff from different disciplines or functions) with a firm focus on understanding the “big picture”.

Addiction doesn’t happen in isolation, it happens in a context or culture.  Likewise, treatment should establish nurture and maintain a culture of recovery that allows all those involved to understand and take responsibility for the part that they play in the process.  This will give those in treatment the best chance to successfully take responsibility for and manage their post-treatment recovery in the outside world.

Kirby Gregory
Director of Client Services
Action on Addiction

Posted: 11/12/2012 13:57:48 by Cherry Corner | with 0 comments

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Action on Addiction is a company limited by guarantee registered in England | Company Number 05947481 Registered Charity Number 1117988
Registered office: Action on Addiction, Head Office, East Knoyle, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6BE