Substance Abuse Counselors??? Recovery Status and Self-Schemas: Preliminary Implications for Empirically Supported Treatment Implementation
Author(s): Elizabeth M Nielson
Purpose. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the relationship between substance abuse counselors’ personal recovery status, self-schemas, and willingness to use empirically supported treatments for substance use disorders. Methods. A phenomenological qualitative study enrolled 12 practicing substance abuse counselors. Results. Within this sample, recovering counselors tended to see those who suffer from addiction as qualitatively different from those who do not and hence themselves as similar to their patients, while nonrecovering counselors tended to see patients as experiencing a specific variety of the same basic human struggles everyone experiences, and hence also felt able to relate to their patients’ struggles. Discussion. Since empirically supported treatments may fit more or less neatly within one or the other of these viewpoints, this finding suggests that counselors’ recovery status and corresponding self-schemas may be related to counselor willingness to learn and practice specific treatments.