Adlerian Theory and Addiction

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According to Monakes (2011), one form of Adlerian therapy, sand tray therapy, asserts that the therapy will allow individuals access to core beliefs and the root of our rational for behavior and as such, gives insight into one’s personal beliefs and types of behaviors. This therapy was researched and practiced with a male prison population by Monakes (2011). Sand tray therapy encourages individual’s access to their inner most thoughts and feelings through a form of symbolic expression (Homeyer & Sweeney, 2005). This type of therapy encourages the expression of language and subconscious thoughts (Monakes, 2005). In sand tray therapy, clients use miniature figurines symbolizing people and things ranging from good to evil (Monakes, 2005). As the story progresses, clients are able to create a life journey and therefore, gain insight into the self (Monakes, 2005). According to the offenders in Monakes (2005) study, sand tray therapy was more effective and positive than the work they were doing at their treatment center. They felt it was it was a valuable tool regarding personal insight and allowed them to reflect on past and current experiences in an effort to improve self-efficacy. According to Adler, the therapist’s initial approach to a client is identifying the underlying cause of feelings of being inferior (Overholser, 2010). Sand tray therapy allows just that by allowing symbolic interpretations of what the client needs to express in order to further his or her recovery. Adler insists that clients not feel pressured to disclose personal information (Overholser, 2010). The importance of the client-therapist relationship is allowing the client to strengthen his or her courage (Overholser, 2010). Attempting to view an i... ... middle of paper ... ... this sense of being and connectedness reached beyond human beings and into everything around us, including, nature, animals, and inanimate objects, possibly reflective of the higher power concept in twelve step groups. Adler’s purpose was the idea that our ability to love and be loved rests in our ability to see beyond ourselves, to heal from being healed, and to receive by giving back (Pienkowski, 2012, Williams, 2011). Adler felt if people were to view the world and its connectedness in this way, perhaps some of the human created problems of life such as, war, poverty, feminine, prejudice, persecution, and discrimination might no longer exist. Essentially, we are of our own making. And to that end, we decide the fate of our individual selves and our ability to persevere, whether it is regards to the recovery from substance abuse or other maladies we may face.

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