Psychoanalysis Treatment in Addiction

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Psychoanalysis Treatment in Addiction

Category: Design

Subcategory: Dissertation introduction

Level: PhD

Pages: 15

Words: 4125

Substance abuse or addiction is the compulsion to use a specific type of drug on a continuous basis without having to realize its negative impacts. Even if these victims realize these effects, they are unable to get rid of this bad habit. With many methods suggested to improve the condition of these addicts, one of the most common ones is psychoanalysis. This is a way to use human brain to assist him to overcome this compulsion. This study is targeted to analyze the strength of role psychoanalysis plays in treating substance abuse. For the research, primary data is collected from healthcare providers and they have some deep insights into the matter. The final results of the study are not only expected to help the medical healthcare providers striving to make people clinically healthy but will make it easier for healthcare policy makers to observe the effects of this intervention so that they can form the health-related policies accordingly. In a long-run, the results of the study are expected to help the domain to a wide extent.

Psychoanalysis Treatment in Addiction

Addiction is a compulsion do to something on a loop with or without having to realize how harmful it can be for the addicted person or people around him. A person addicted to any type of habit usually does not realize that his addiction might be ruining his life by reducing his physical, social, mental and intellectual involvement in his surroundings. This addiction might start very small but has the ability to affect the person for the rest of his life if he does not overcome it in due time. That is the reason it is considered to be a huge mental issue that healthcare providers and psychologists give keen attention to when it is diagnosed in a person CITATION Joh11 l 1033 (Johnson, 2011).
While there are many types of addiction including being addicted to gaming, traveling, watching movies, shopping, drinking, smoking, sex and many other actions, one of the most common addiction is substance abuse. Substance abuse is a general term used for using any type of drug including cocaine, weed, other narcotics and alcohol as well CITATION Dod17 l 1033 (Dodes & Dodes, 2017). The reason it is called an ‘abuse’ is that the person using all these types of substances overuses them and feels the need to use them in all instances no matter how harmful they might be for him. Hence, exploiting access to these products and using them in all situations without considering the circumstances is substance abuse which is a psychological problem and needs to be treated CITATION Lev16 l 1033 (Levounis, 2016).
Because of how intense substance abuse can get and affect a human’s life even leading to death, healthcare providers, societies and social workers have been trying to come up with intervention methods that can help treat this abuse CITATION Pro17 l 1033 (Proudfoot, 2017). Their main focus is to see if it is possible to either treat the abuse completely or at least help the addicted come over to a major chunk of it. The purpose of these intervention strategies is to ensure that the addict’s life can be made slightly easier while the people around him getting affected by his habits can be given some relief.
Out of many other intervention methods, one of the most unique yet widely used ones is psychoanalysis. The idea of psychoanalysis was provided by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung in 1890’s. In Psychology, the concept of psychoanalysis is not just a stand-alone idea and is composed of a set of subjects that covers various ways a human brain can be controlled and conditioned to learn something CITATION Baz17 l 1033 (Bazn & Detandt, 2017). Theories under psychoanalysis cover therapeutic techniques used to train a human brain using the power of his own unconscious mind.
The reason psychoanalysis got high popularity since that time until today is because of how strongly it can influence a human’s brain and teach him to do something that his conscious mind cannot. For instance, when someone is addicted to any type of substance, it is hard for that person to come over that addiction, let along trying to get rid of it CITATION Bra142 l 1033 (Brandell, 2014). In those situations of compulsion, the unconscious of these people can be trained in a way that the conscious of that person can be treated from any type of disorders. The idea itself sounds mind-blowing and has faced some controversies as well. However, its success on a wider scale has led to its constant use in the clinical world CITATION Tyl18 l 1033 (Tylim & Harris, 2018).
Along with many concepts and theories that work under psychoanalysis, some of the most commonly known ones are psychosexual development, unconscious, preconscious, psychic apparatus, Id, ego, superego, transference, resistance, projection, dreamwork and denial, etc. All these ideas combined lead up to methods that can be used to treat a human being who is addicted to something CITATION Gab161 l 1033 (Gabbard, 2016). Along with many other peripheral concepts, the basic and mainstream viewpoint of psychoanalysis is focused on the development of a person that can lead to significant changes in his behavioral, psychological and cognitive tendencies. This, in turn, can change a human’s conscious and unconscious actions and reactions that help to overcome some bad habits.
In the treatment of substance abuse, psychoanalysis is important since it adopts the method of ‘talking out’ the issue and helping the person untangle his thoughts about something. Some of the most general methods of psychoanalysis are speech therapy when the patient is lying down on the couch and talks about his issues. While the psychologist available at that time does not interfere when the person is speaking, he does facilitate the process by directing the person’s thoughts to some extent when he is stuck. This method is effective in assisting the person overcome his conflicts, anxiety, depression and other destructive behavior CITATION Svo17 l 1033 (Svolos, 2017).
With all these advantages of psychoanalysis, it is crucial to see how the process can assist in helping a person overcome his addiction. The reasons analysis and healthcare providers give profound importance to psychoanalysis method in addiction is because it is a less intense intervention and yet its effects are as strong as any other type of intervention. A person with a compulsion of substance abuse can gain insights to his behaviors and help him understand why he does what he does. According to psychologists, some of the most significant reasons psychoanalysis is helpful in treating addiction to a substance is because most of these patients do not realize the intensity of the issue unless and until they can get to talk about it and put light on the underlying drivers leading to these behaviors CITATION Ham07 l 1033 (Hammersley, 2017). This, in turn, makes it easier to bring the person in a state of mind where he understands himself and can make an effort to be more constructive in life.
Statement of Problem
Considering the significance of psychoanalysis as a treatment of mental issues and how intense impact does substance abuse has on a person, it is crucial to understand how these two are connected and the ways in which psychoanalysis assists in overcoming substance abuse. The problem to be addressed by this study is the extent to which psychoanalysis plays a role in helping a person overcome his abuse addiction. Many other studies have been conducted proving the important role of psychoanalysis in treating addiction and this study will add to the pool of evidence with the help of strong theoretical and empirical evidence CITATION Svo17 l 1033 (Svolos, 2017).
The results of the analysis will affect victims of substance abuse since they are directly affected by the issue, healthcare and social work organizations that are working towards treating these victims and societies in general since substance abuse influences the overall health and betterment of the society. The final outcome of the study is not only expected to pave the way for a revolutionary improvement in the treatment structure for substance abuse in any given context but will also provide strong theoretical and practical ground for further research that can assist in making the overall support system for substance addicts on a long-term basis.
Purpose of Study
This purpose this primary data interpretive analysis study is to identify the extent to which psychoanalysis helps in treating substance abuse in an individual. The research tries to answer the questions surrounding the effectiveness of psychoanalysis and observe how this method can be used in order to help a victim of addiction overcome his compulsion. While there are several ways to analyze the topic, for this study, primary data analysis is a major part used. However, some secondary level information is utilized since it provides a useful pathway to the theoretical framework and assists in strengthening the overall argument made. To understand how the concept has already been analyzed by other researchers, a detailed literature review was conducted that provided insights on the already existent literature. This step was crucial for the entire study as it assisted in understanding how and why the topic is important and provided more concept to the whole argument.
To conduct the primary data analysis and collect data, the target population was all psychologists and healthcare providers that work with substance abuse addicts and work on intervention methods to treat them. Out of the entire population, a set of 50 psychologists was selected through snowball sampling so they can take part in the one-on-one personal semi-structured interviews. These interviews were constructed in a way that the psychologists answer some very basic yet specific questions about the role of psychoanalysis in treating substance abuse. However, the questions were kept open-ended to some extent to ensure that there is a space for these participants to provide their personal thoughts on something that can make the study even more refined and informative. Hence, while some questions were simple yes or no or based on Likert scale, others were also simply sentences that provided the participants with a chance to speak their mind. These instruments were expected to provide logical explanation and insights on how psychoanalysis plays a role in treating substance abuse. Complete confidentiality and anonymity was ensured for these participants.
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
Theoretically speaking, there are several concepts surrounding the idea of psychoanalysis and its effect on addiction. The reason this method is proven to be helpful in addiction is because it handles the mental complications of the addicted person and helps him untangle his unconscious thoughts, so he can over him the compulsive thoughts. Whenever a person is going through a change, there are several stages he has to go through (see figure 1).
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Stages of Change

Source: CITATION Sma15 l 1033 (Smart Recovery, 2015).
Initially, its precontemplation when the person has not implemented anything but is still thinking about considering the change. Then comes the stage of contemplation when he recognizes the issue while seriously considering change. After someone realizes that he has a serious issue and is done with contemplating it, he then moves on to the preparation part when the person initiates the change. At this stage, it is crucial to understand that the definition of ‘change’ can be different depending on the type of individual. For some, cutting down the number of cigarettes he smokes in a day by just one cigarette can be a huge change while someone else might not consider it an action unless he quits a large amount and also brings in gaps between one smoke to another. After this stage comes the point of maintenance when the person tries to adjust the new improvement in life. This stage can be hardest for most people since this is the time when their patience is actually challenged. It is common for addicts to drop out of the change cycle at this stage since they cannot handle the changes giving up on their addiction brings in them. While some go through this hard part, others might just crack and decide to restart. Therefore, it is possible that some would leave therapy while others grow out to be free of any addiction and live a happy and healthy life.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2: Types of Psychoanalysis

Source: CITATION Det18 l 1033 (Detoxo Rehab, 2018).
During this journey, psychoanalysis can be a helpful way to overcome the compulsion and handle the situation with emotional intelligence. There are several ways psychotherapy works and multiple actions can make up the theory either combined or separately (see figure 2). For instance, it can be either behavior therapy that allows a person to bring behavioral changes in himself to handle the pressure. In some instance when behavioral therapy is not enough and the addict needs a stronger solution, hypnotherapy can be used to help the addict with the emotion. On the other hand, group therapy is another way to help these individuals since some people learn better if they see other people facing the same issue that they are going through.
The way psychoanalysis works for all individuals can be different depending on the type and strength of addiction, nature and emotional state of the person and many other socio-economic factors. Some people need more pressures while others need positive reinforcement to overcome their compulsion. That is the reason it is said that the journey to recovery from addiction is different for each individual because of personal differences. Just like the way everyone is different, the road to recovery is varied person to person. This mental recovery is more diverse compared to recovery from any physical situation since the body would take a similar amount of time, treatment and pressure to heal but for psychological issues, it is an entirely different story CITATION Det18 l 1033 (Detoxo Rehab, 2018).
In some instances, people would be more motivated to go through the change of leaving their addiction while others might be doing this for some other personal purpose. People who are more expressive are more suitable to go through expressive therapy under psychoanalysis for their addiction. Other types of therapy that a person might require for his addiction is narrative therapy, Gestalt therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. All these types of psychotherapies are directed towards social, communicative, behavioral and psychological instances of individuals and handle their weak points so that they can live a normal life without any strings attached to the addiction CITATION Joh11 l 1033 (Johnson, 2011). Eventually, the importance and effectiveness of these methods can vary depending on who the trainer is, who the addict is and how other people, professional, social, economic, psychological, behavioral and other issues are coming in the way of therapy or facilitating the entire therapy.
Nature of the Study
For this study, research philosophy of interpretivism which is a theory that revolves around the idea that not everything is mathematically logical or tested in all instances and there are always contextual differences in situations which might put an impact on the final outcomes. This approach is very popular in social sciences since subjects in this area deal with humans and their real-life issues and it is common for people to have personal differences that influence their lives in general CITATION Int163 l 1033 (Introna, Kavanagh, Kelly, Orlikowski, & Scott, 2016). Due to these differences, assuming that everything is the same across the board and one theory or instance should translate into every situation is a naïve ideology.
According to this philosophy, for different sociological realms, there is a need to have a different epistemology. This means that philosophically, situations are allowed to vary and generate different results depending on what is happening and who is involved and how. To do research on any social situation, policymakers and researchers should be able to define the underlying theories and concepts associated explicitly to that situation and also understand the individual differences that can come along the way CITATION Tur18 l 1033 (Turnbull, 2018). This is something that helps make the theory broader and open to any real changes.
The study used primary data analysis for this research and the reason for choosing this study design of primary data analysis is that primary data provides a broader perspective into a matter and makes it easier to look into the real sentiments of people on a certain issue. The issue being analyzed in the study is sociological sensitive and requires keen and magnified look so that the matter can be thoroughly scrutinized. Also, since it is about addiction and how addicts can be helped to overcome it, it is necessary to involve human subjects and get their perspective on the matter since the results might vary depending who is answering the question. It addresses the interpretive side of the study and makes it easier to look at the matter from a broader perspective and allow any changes and tweaks based on individual differences. This nature of the study is expected to help land on results that are wide yet specific enough to provide a snapshot of the bigger picture and understand how the situation might depend in the natural world.
Another idea worth noticing here is that the study is of a qualitative nature which aligns with the overall nature of the research framework. With the sensitivity of the topic and how it influences human lives, it is crucial to keep it as simple as possible yet making sure that it is still in a position to represent the social realities in a vivid way. In that case, this nature of study is expected to assist the entire process and allow objective research that addresses the topic while keeping the social values and codes into account. The results derived from the study are expected to provide logical insights into the matter and help understand how psychoanalysis helps an individual overcome his addiction in a long-term.
Research Question
To what extent does psychoanalysis have the ability to control substance abuse?
Ho: Psychoanalysis has a strong role in treating substance abuse.
Significance of the Study
Substance abuse is a serious issue that can be life-threatening as well. This addiction does not only affect the personal health of the addict but also makes his social and intellectual abilities weaker which leads to a gradual deterioration in daily life. Due to the severe effects of this problem, medical health experts and social workers have been putting their efforts towards getting this issue tackled in societies so that the betterment of humanity can be ensured. Due to that significance, research studies have also been conducted in the field promoting the ways it can be treated.
With all the theoretical and practical work already taking place in the area, there is still enough space on the literature side to understand what needs to be done in order to reduce the intensity of the issue. For that purpose, the angle of the study is directed towards one aspect which is treating substance abuse through psychoanalysis. The study is designed to link two domains of psychology which are exploitation of substance and psychoanalysis where one is the problem and the other is the solution. Analyzing a connection between the two at a time will provide with a great opportunity to unveil the areas of psychology that have not been explored before regarding treating substance abuse.
Although psychoanalysis has already been used across the world as a way to treat substance abuse in adult victims, there are still capacities where this treatment is not as readily availability. There can be many reasons for that including substance abuse being considered a taboo, lack of funds and training and lack of social awareness as well CITATION Dod17 l 1033 (Dodes & Dodes, 2017). In that context, it is important to understand how the idea of psychoanalysis plays a role when it comes to treating this huge issue that has enveloped the entire world without any discrimination.
The results of the study are not only expected to help healthcare providers understand the importance and implications of psychoanalysis but will make it clearer for societies, social workers and common people who might be relatives of addicts to get their heads around the therapeutic idea to treat this behavior. The findings will assist in landing on policy implications regarding the treatment process and see how it can be implemented on a larger scale in order to maximize their benefits.
Something worth noticing here is that the results of the study will hold their significance both in a short and a long term as well. For example, while the results can make it easier to understand that how these therapeutic techniques are helpful in treating a patient, they are expected to provide deep insights into the facts regarding how the policies implemented for the treatment can be made useful in a long term. For the treatment of any health issue, it is essential to take all the stakeholders into account and understand its short and long-term implications and this study is focused on providing that.
For data collection, primary data analysis method is selected because of several reasons that improve the significance of the research even more. For instance, since it is a sensitive issue and secondary type of data might not be as reliable and granular, primary data collection facilitates the entire process by allowing the data collection from scratch that can eventually lead to some raw yet logical results. The reason for collecting data from healthcare providers was to make the data as granular and authentic as possible and transform the results into an institution that can always be referred back to in the future.
Definitions of Key Terms
Substance abuse: Substance is a common term for drug use and being addicted to it. While in some instances, a certain amount of substance including drugs, weed or alcohol might be considered normal in some societies and communities, it is a huge issue in others depending on its type, social context and severity.
Health care providers: Healthcare providers are workers that work towards the clinical well-being of individuals in a society. These can be doctors, nurses or any related individuals in the medical field. The primary job of these people is to make sure that they are available for the patient when they need it. Some of these expert healthcare providers also play a role in medicine-related policymaking.
Intervention: In medicine and psychology, intervention is any process that is designed to help a patient overcome any issue. It can be a therapy, medication, care system or anything similar. For instance, group therapy is a type of intervention for depression. The purpose of these interventions is to provide these victims with another chance to live a normal and happy life and bring their life on track again.
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is a set of treatments of using mind more than medicine to treat a patient with a mental health issue. It includes a number of activities and types of therapies targeted to help mental health patients.
Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of psychotherapy and is a way to use human mind to treat any issue that the individual is facing. It is one of the most frequently used methods to treat mental health disorders for a long-term. Psychoanalysis is considered to be a more intense of psychotherapy sometimes as it is a part of the key and widely used therapies used under psychotherapy including group therapy, hypnotherapy, behavior therapy and many others.
Addicts/Victim: Addicts are people who have a compulsion to do or consume something in a certain loop. People who overuse drug are called addicts and are also sometimes called victims of substance abuse. The reason these people are called victims or addicts is because they are not in a position to control their compulsive behavior and cannot function if they do not get a dose of their drug which makes them vulnerable and a victim as well.
Drug abuse is a huge social and medical issue across many societies in the world and affects many lives on a regular basis. Healthcare providers, medical experts and social workers around the world are constantly working towards making this issue less of a problem for the world but the efforts are taking their due time. In that context, it is crucial to understand how various ways of treating substance abuse can assist making this issue better so that these addicts can be given another chance at living a normal life.
Substance abuse is the compulsion to use a type of drug on a continuous without having any self-control. This abuse makes the life of the victim miserable as he is not able to have a healthy, socially active and mentally stable life. With many ways being used to treat this issue, psychoanalysis suggested by Sigmund Freud is one of the most common ones. The method is widely appreciated in the field of psychology because of how it allows a human to use his brain in order to overcome a compulsion. The purpose of the study is to focus on the extent to which psychoanalysis assists in controlling substance abuse.
For the study, the hypothesis to be tested is that psychoanalysis has a strong role in helping a patient with substance abuse. Primary data is collected from medical experts and healthcare providers to gather their insights on the topic and understand how psychoanalysis can assist reduce the intensity of this abuse that affects the personal, social, mental and intellectual functionality of a human. The research will provide profound insights into the role of psychoanalysis for treating substance abuse. While these results will provide assistant to healthcare providers deliver a better service in the field for these patients, social workers and related people can benefit from it as well and improve the ways they assist or plant to assist these people. Since the stakeholders in case of substance abuse or addiction are larger in number, the results are expected to facilitate along with actual victims so that they can play a role in the betterment of the society in a short- and a long-term as well.

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