Recovery From Substance Abuse: A Narrative Approach to Understanding the Motivation and Ambivalence About Change
Various studies have employed quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the process of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive change that emerges during drug addiction treatment, including the factors both encouraging and discouraging such change. This article focuses on the narrative approach to the motivation and ambivalence inherent in recovery over the course of a residential treatment program. The study sample consisted of 46 clients undergoing substance abuse treatment in a residential facility in Greece. All conversations were taped and later elaborated on with the help of narrative analysis. Seven main types of narrative emerged from the overall analysis: optimistic, overly optimistic, pessimistic, overly pessimistic, “tough life,” troubled/confused, and balanced. Results based on these categorizations reveal common thoughts, skepticism, and difficulties patients face during recovery, with the linkage between each type of narrative.