Psychotherapy for Clients with Addictive Disorders Paper

Psychotherapy for Clients with Addictive Disorders Paper

Addictive Disorders manifest via deficits in regulating emotions, self-esteem, relationships, and self-care, leading to the inability to abandon detrimental substances or behaviors. Often, causal factors for addictive disorders include biological, psychosocial, cultural, and social factors. According to Khantzian (2020), environmental influences such as traumatic abuse, peer pressure, safety, and parenting may increase individual susceptibility to addiction. With much emphasis regarding addictive disorders resting on substance abuse and gambling, various psychoanalytical psychotherapy is one of the most profound interventions for treating and preventing addiction.


Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy and Addiction Treatment

Psychoanalytical/psychodynamic psychotherapy assumes that essential psychological factors lead to addictive behaviors and activities (Khantzian, 2020 Psychotherapy for Clients with Addictive Disorders Paper). In a retrospective study by Mooney et al. (2019), the researchers evaluate the applicability of psychoanalytical psychotherapy in treating and preventing gambling addiction. Therefore, the research targets patients struggling with compulsive addiction seeking treatment at the National Problem Gambling Clinic (NPGC) in London. According to Mooney et al. (2019), psychodynamic therapy is crucial in exposing unconscious patterns by enabling patients to reflect, clarify, and confront interpersonal conflicts, wishes, and defenses that strengthen addiction.

The research revealed that psychodynamic psychotherapy successfully treated patients’ addiction problems by imparting a sense of intrinsic awareness while reducing depression and anxiety. However, researchers acknowledged that various limitations hampered the study’s precision and validity of the conclusion. For instance, investigators identified a lack of scholarly literature, data disparities, and research model as the major drawbacks for the study. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate scholarly evidence to justify the applicability of psychodynamic psychotherapy in addressing addiction.

Additional Scholarly Evidence

Although insufficient scholarly evidence compromises the determination to render psychodynamic psychotherapy effective in treating addiction, some studies support this approach. Verma & Vijayakrishnan (2018) argue that this therapeutic approach helps patients achieve a deeper awareness of themselves, their unconscious desires, motivations, and conflicts. On the other hand, Whitman & Olesker (2021) contend that psychoanalytic approaches play a significant role in treating opiate, alcohol, and marijuana dependence patients. Finally, Khantzian (2020) supports the topic by arguing that psychodynamic psychotherapy enables change agents to identify, target, modify and eliminate causal factors for addiction. Undoubtedly, these sources are scholarly because they are peer-reviewed, organized, and published in reputable databases to provide additional insights into the topic.

Psychotherapy for Clients with Addictive Disorders Paper References

Khantzian, E. (2020). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for the treatment of substance use disorders. Textbook Of Addiction Treatment, 383-389.

Mooney, A., Roberts, A., Bayston, A., & Bowden‐Jones, H. (2019). The piloting of a brief relational psychodynamic protocol (psychodynamic addiction model) for problem gambling and other compulsive addictions: A retrospective analysis. Counselling And Psychotherapy Research, 19(4), 484-496.

Verma, M., & Vijayakrishnan, A. (2018). Psychoanalytic psychotherapy in addictive disorders. Indian journal of psychiatry, 60(Suppl 4), S485–S489.

Whitman, L., & Olesker, W. (2021). Introduction – Addiction: A ubiquitous problem. The Psychoanalytic Study of The Child, 74(1), 227-233.


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.
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.

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

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.
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. Be sure to include the article you used as the basis for this Assignment.

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