Trauma, Drug Misuse and Transforming Identities: A Life Story Approach

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Sep 15, 2007 - Psychology - 224 pages
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Looking at the life stories of ex-drug misusers in their own words, this book offers insights into the nature of addiction and how it can be tackled. It examines the links between early childhood experiences and drug misuse and also shows pathways to recovery and transformation. Kim Etherington highlights the therapeutic value of listening to drug misusers' life stories and the importance of understanding how social environments and the wider cultural influences shape people's lives. She encourages people working with drug misusers to challenge pathologising notions of `spoiled identity', which assume that identity is fixed. By taking a step back and separating the person from the problem, it is possible to help them explore their relationship with drugs in ways that encourage a stronger sense of agency and power to change. With compelling first-hand narratives and practical strategies to encourage drug misusers' ability to recover, this is essential reading for professionals working with drug users as well as people misusing drugs themselves.

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Page 25 - TRAUMATIC EVENTS CALL INTO QUESTION basic human relationships. They breach the attachments of family, friendship, love, and community. They shatter the construction of the self that is formed and sustained in relation to others. They undermine the belief systems that give meaning to human experience. They violate the victim's faith in a natural or divine order and cast the victim into a state of existential crisis.
Page 31 - If you want to know me, then you must know my story, for my story defines who I am. If / want to know myself, to gain insight into the meaning of my own life, then I, too, must come to know my own story
Page 9 - This production would never have seen the light of day had it not been for the formidable and brilliant work of director Regge Life, to whom I remain indebted.
Page 31 - Deconstruction is premised on what is generally referred to as a 'critical constructivist,' or, as I would prefer, a 'constitutionalist' perspective of the world. From this perspective, it is proposed that persons' lives are shaped by the meaning that they ascribe to their experience, by their situation in social structures, and by the language practices and cultural practices of self and of relationship that these lives are recruited into.
Page 31 - The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to ^.proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.
Page 32 - ... their sense of who they are and who they want to be with.
Page 30 - The stories we create influence the stories of other people, those stories give rise to still others, and soon we find meaning and connection within a web of story making and story living.

About the author (2007)

Kim Etherington is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol and a private counselling and supervision practitioner. For 12 years she has been supporting people who work with drug misusers in the Southmead Drugs project, a community-based project in a deprived area of Bristol. The project was awarded the Queens medal in 2004. She is the author of Becoming a Reflexive Researcher - Using Our Selves in Research and Narrative Approaches to Working with Adult Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, and the editor of Counsellors in Health Settings, Rehabilitation Counselling in Physical and Mental Health and Trauma, the Body and Transformation, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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