Utilizing community and humanistic psychology in the establishment of effective psychosocial interventions for people with addiction problems. The example of the Self-Help Promotion Program in Greece


1.Dr. Sotiris Lainas (⚑ Greece) 1



A growing dialogue is developing at both international and national level on the necessity of enriching methodologies to support people with addiction problems. The enrichment of support methodologies is justified on the basis of the high increase of addiction problems, the changing profile of people with an addiction problem and the weaknesses of the dominant scientific approaches to provide sufficient responses. At the same time it is also supported by the reliable proposal of self-help/mutual aid groups in the field of addictions and the approaches that make use of such concepts. In this context, this paper presents a long-term action research project on the establishment and operation of Self Help Promotion Program in Greece.

Self Help Promotion Program is an ongoing psychosocial intervention to support people with addiction problems and their relatives in Greece, which is operated by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in four cities of the country. The program focuses its actions on the philosophy and practices of self-help / mutual aid and essentially constitutes a hybrid model of professional and self-help/ mutual aid psychosocial intervention.

This paper presents a comprehensive outline of the process and conditions of psychosocial support for people with a problem of addiction in Self Help Promotion Program. More specifically, based on the results of the research, the value of participatory action research as a methodology for structuring psychosocial interventions for people with addiction problems, the active role of those directly involved in the intervention, the human-centered characteristics of the psychosocial support process and the critical dimensions of the role of health workers in such interventions are highlighted. Finally, broader connections are made between the proposed methodology and the field of addictions and the importance of implementing the principles of community psychology and humanistic psychology in supporting people with an addiction problem is emphasized.

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