Resistance to attending aa and other self help groups

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Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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Chapter 8 / Exercise 1
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Resistance to Attending AA and Other Self-Help Groups For a variety of reasons, individuals in early alcohol/drug recovery often resist attending self-help meetings. Some of the reasons they give are the following: 1. Difficulty with the concept of a higher power, or references to God 2. Lack of tolerance by self-help members, at times, to a. Use medication for affective or feeling disorders and other psychological conditions b. Help understand that there are different types of alcoholism c. Reject treatment (therapy and other treatment modalities) 3. People are uncomfortable in group settings and are concerned with the group’s maintaining strict confidentiality 4. The disruptive influence of people (especially court-referred) who don’t have a true desire to be sober Despite these drawbacks, which can be overcome, AA and other self-help meetings have been a positive and extremely beneficial source of inspiration and hope for millions of recovering alcoholics/addicts. Page 296 Social Support Empowers Recovery—Voluntary Mutual Help Association One of the major strengths of AA and other self-help meetings is the social support, which empowers people. Social support is a strong factor in recovery, especially because addicts/alcoholics have trouble with asking for help in the first place. It makes us feel good when we are supportive of others, and—if we give them the opportunity—it also feels good when others are supportive of us. Social support empowers people to cope more effectively, both with difficulties and during difficult times. There is an old AA proverb: “Silence is the enemy of recovery.” Not letting others in your social support system know that you are in a state of vulnerability to relapse, makes it more likely that you will relapse. Borkman (2008) describes AA as a “voluntary mutual help association.” That is a pretty good definition of a support system. AA can be a source for social support, prescribed healthy lifestyle practices, social contacts, community, cohesion of common purpose and meaning, and psychosocial resources. Online Social Support Networks (OSSN) The Internet, smart phones, electronic tablets, and technology in general revolutionized the way we communicate and get information. The advent of online social support networks is a natural and efficacious new way of helping with alcohol/drug recovery and relapse prevention. Where contact with social support used to be limited to letters, phone calls and face to face visits, the advent of the internet and smart phones has revolutionized the ways with which people can connect with one another, creating increasingly sophisticated and expansive support groups. (Spelman 2011) For example, a new OSSN, SUPPORTbuddy.org, offers a color-coded mood (feeling) self- rating scale that goes out to the person’s personally developed online support network.
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Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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Chapter 8 / Exercise 1
Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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This allows those individuals in the support network to interact and lend support during difficult emotional and vulnerable times.

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