Positive Psychology and Addiction Treatment

Positive psychology is possible the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that individuals and communities to thrive. This field is based on the belief that people want to live meaningful and satisfying lives, to cultivate what is best for themselves, and their experiences with love, improve work and play.
In effective addiction treatment, positive psychological approach takes part in a vital
role in achieving long-term addiction healing goals. Usually, addicts are told that they
have a disease; that they will have to manage it for the rest of their lives; to expect
relapse and that from a statistical perspective, most will expire from their illness. This is an enormously demoralizing prognosis to provide to someone. A positive psychologist would reframe the situation, suggesting that addiction is a behavioral disorder and even the most well-established behaviors can be changed. Despite the fact that not denying the negative statistics surrounding addiction recovery, a reframing of the opportunity to recover into something achievable is empowering and motivating to many who suffer from substance abuse.
After encouraging the addict by suggesting that recovery is possible not just for a
selected few, the positive psychologist then begins to work with the addict to re-
envision life and begin a process of self-discovery in which the addict comes to know
what activities and interaction are most important to him/her. There are no limits. For

example, at the seminar one researcher who works with suicidal geriatric individuals

shared this story: She had a wheelchair bound, elderly woman say that what was most
essential in life to her was saving seals. Instead of telling the woman that she could not save seals because she was too old and in a wheelchair or provide any other excuse, the woman was encouraged to look into what it would take for her to save seals. She decided that while she could not physically work with seals, she could be involved via the internet in those types of activities and fundraise to support the work. This is exactly the type of visioning process that is successfully used with addicts, to help them imagine a world beyond using and to give them tangible goals to work toward that will help them maintain their recovery.
Consequential recovery is achieved when the pain of the past is worked through and
goals for the future are set and worked towards. Part of the problem of addiction is a
lack of ability to visualize a different future, a future in which happiness, good work,
and strong relationships are the structure of daily life. Using positive psychology,
therapists are able to help addicts plan for and believe they can attain the kind of future of which they previously could not even dream of.
Written By: Sarfraz Haider
Clinical Psychologist,
Nishan Rehab Multan

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