Family Treatment of Drug Abusers

  • David K. Wellisch

Abstract

To properly address the family treatment of the early adolescent versus that of the late adolescent/young adult drug abuser, a brief excursion into the developmental issues of these two stages becomes necessary. Although these two periods are separated by a small number of years, they are separated by important and pivotal developmental milestones. Of primary importance is the “second individuation process” (Blos, 1967) wherein the adolescent reworks earlier developmental individuation/separation issues. At this point, the adolescent is struggling with broad fluctuations in dependency needs and counter-dependency needs in relation to parents and is getting used to the concept of variable states of emotional dependence on a significant other. Needless to say, if parents cannot tolerate the side of the coin that involves counterdependence, real individuation and separation is hampered. If the parents’ needs are pathological, the adolescent can remain faithful and loyal under the guise of separation by developing a real drug problem, which will endlessly repeat the dependence-counterdependence cycle, a process well described by Stanton (1978).

Keywords

Family Therapy Family Therapist Drug Abuser Family Treatment Child Focus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Blos, P. “The second individuation process of adolescence.” In R. S. Eissler et al. (Eds.), The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Vol. 22. New York: International Universities Press, 1967.Google Scholar
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  3. Minuchin, S., and Fishman, H. C. Family Therapy Techniques. Cambridge: Harvard Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  4. Reilly, D. M. “Drug abusing families: Intra-familial dynamics and brief triphasic treatment.” In E. Kaufman and P. Kaufmann (Eds.), Family Therapy of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. New York: Gardiner Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  5. Stanton, M. H.,, Todd, T. C., Heard, D. B., Kirschner, S., Kleiman, J. I., Mowatt, D. T., Riley, P., Scott, S. M., and Van Deusen, J. M. “Heroin addicts as a family phenomenon: A new conceptual model.” American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 5: 125–150, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David K. Wellisch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUCLA School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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