Change Process, Supports and Barriers in Residential Treatment Program: A Qualitative Approach
Various studies have employed quantitative and qualitative methods in order to explore the process of behavioral change emerging during a drug addiction treatment, i.e. the factors both encouraging and discouraging such change. Treatment has been conceived as a process of maturation (“maturing out” theory) or as a sudden behavioral change (“rock bottom experience”). This article focuses on the qualitative approach of the therapeutic procedures of a residential treatment program. The participants of the study were 46 clients undergoing a substances treatment. In order to collect the data, we used the semi-structured interview. All conversation data were taped and later on elaborated with the help of the contextual content analysis. Three main categories derived from these analyses: the supports and the barriers clients face, as well as the way they handle the idea of changing during their addiction treatment. The findings highlight the importance of communality within such a framework, emotional management, practical matters the addicts must face, as well as the contribution of personal characteristics, such as strong will and determination. The implications of the study for clinical practice and future research are still debated.