Humanistic Perspective and Addiction Essay

Words: 1429
Pages: 6

Tia Gardner
September 21, 2012

Humanistic Perspective and Addiction

There are several theories of addiction. All of them are imperfect. All are partial explanations. It is for this reason that it is important to be aware of and question addiction theories.
One contemporary psychoanalytical view of substance abuse is that it is a defense against anxiety (Thombs D 2006). Addicts often abuse alcohol and other substances to guard against anxiety and other painful feelings like shame, guilt, loneliness and depression. Psychological problems including substance abuse disorders are viewed as a result of inhibited ability to make authentic, meaningful, and self directed choices about how to live.
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For me this is a very unusual and interesting paradox. That a psychological disorder has been best explained by the biological and behavioral perspectives, but not necessarily best dealt with using those same perspectives is fascinating, and I think it is very true for alcoholism and addiction.
The biological and behavioral perspectives do well to explain addiction
Recovery from poses people towards addiction. Addicts also learn certain behaviors and cognitions from their environment; avoidance, irresponsibility, self-doubt, and self-loathing, that predispose them towards the self-destruction of addiction. It is quite possible that these things, a genetic predisposition and environmental factors, go hand in hand given the dynamics of a family with an alcoholic parent: children are far more likely to become an alcoholic/addict themselves.
Of course, at this point, I have to fess up to personal experience to support my argument in favor of the humanistic perspective regarding recovery from drug addiction.
Having been diagnosed a drug addict, I have been exposed to all sorts of treatments stemming from biological and behavioral theories. Rewards and punishments, all fell somewhat short of the mark with respect to achieving long-term abstinence and overall improvement in the quality of my life. It wasn't until a completely different approach was taken, that recovery from addiction was