Psychotherapy for Addictive DisordersPsychotherapy for Addictive Disorders

Psychotherapy for Addictive DisordersPsychotherapy for Addictive Disorders


Psychotherapy for Addictive Disorders

A long-standing debate has roiled over whether addicts have a choice over their behaviors. The disease creates distortions in thinking, feelings, and perceptions, which drive people to behave in ways that are not understandable to others around them. Simply put, addiction is not a choice. Addictive behaviors are a manifestation of the disease, not a cause.

—Dr. Raju Hajela, former president of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine

A common misconception is that addiction is a choice, and addicts are often labeled as individuals who lack morals, willpower, or responsibility. However, addiction is a clinical disorder that must be treated with the support of a health care professional. Although many people who are exposed to potentially addictive substances and behaviors continue life unaltered by their experiences, some people are fueled by these experiences and spiral out of control. In your role as the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, you must be prepared to not only work with these individuals who struggle with addiction but also help them and their families overcome the social stigmas associated with addictive behavior. 

This week, you will assess a research article on psychotherapy for clients with addictive disorders. You also examine therapies for treating these clients and consider potential outcomes. Finally, you will discuss how therapy treatment will translate into your clinical practice.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze literature on      interventions and therapeutic approaches used for treating clients with      addictive disorders
  • Evaluate the application of      current literature on addiction treatment to clinical practice


Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.

  • Chapter      9, “Motivational Interviewing” 
  • Chapter      19, “Psychotherapeutic Approaches for Addictions and Related Disorders”

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)


Assignment: Psychotherapy for Clients With Addictive Disorders

Addictive disorders can be particularly challenging for clients. Not only do these disorders typically interfere with a client’s ability to function in daily life, but they also often manifest as negative and sometimes criminal behaviors. Sometime clients with addictive disorders also suffer from other mental health issues, creating even greater struggles for them to overcome. In your role, you have the opportunity to help clients address their addictions and improve outcomes for both the clients and their families.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning      Resources and consider the insights they provide about diagnosing and      treating addictive disorders. As you watch the 187 Models of      Treatment for Addiction video, consider what treatment model you      may use the most with clients presenting with addiction.
  • Search the Walden Library      databases and choose a research article that discusses a therapeutic      approach for treating clients, families, or groups with addictive      disorders.

The Assignment

In a  10-slide PowerPoint presentation, address the following. Your title and references slides do not count toward the 10-slide limit. 

  • Provide an overview of the      article you selected.
    • What population (individual,       group, or family) is under consideration?
    • What was the specific       intervention that was used? Is this a new intervention or one that was       already studied?
    • What were the author’s       claims?
  • Explain the      findings/outcomes of the study in the article. Include whether this will      translate into practice with your own clients. If so, how? If not, why?
  • Explain whether the      limitations of the study might impact your ability to use the      findings/outcomes presented in the article. 
  • Use the Notes function of      PowerPoint to craft presenter notes to expand upon the content of your      slides. 
  • Support your response with      at least three other peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why      each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Provide      references to your sources on your last slide. Be sure to include the      article you used as the basis for this Assignment.