Addictive Disorders




Addictive Disorders

Addiction of any kind can be a very hard disorder to treat it is by characterized by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence (American Psychological Association ,2020). This paper targets assessments of individuals with addiction disorders, examine therapeutic approaches used in each case study and determine the best assess outcomes for client.


Episode 1: Perceptions

Mr. Levy describes himself as being sick and reports that his problems all began after his deployment to Iraq where is was in combat. Mr. Levy is convinced that his wife doe not understand what he is going through even after he explains it to her. When his wife questions his perception, he responds aggressively. On the other hand, Mrs. Levy perceives that her husband is depressed and is using alcohol to deal with his depression, she also perceives her husband is addicted to alcohol. This brings shame to her and she tries to shield her children from it as she perceives this behavior will destroy their family.

Addiction has a negative implication on families and can affect this family in many ways. Physical violence, financial, emotional and physiological strains can ensue (Velleman & Templeton, 2016). The addicted parent may soon begin to isolate himself from the family and Mrs. Levy may try to compensate for Mr. Levy’s deficiencies as a result of his alcohol abuse. The children are not spared in cases like this as the children may begin to start acting in non-age appropriate ways to deal with a parent’s deficiency (Velleman & Templeton, 2016).

Episode 2

The social worker is proposing the use of newer complementary therapy options like art therapy, yoga and meditation instead of leaning towards the more established trauma-focused intervention for PTSD. It is mostly appropriate for her to meet with the patient first and work with him in finding out which treatment option would be more appropriate because in caring for patients with PTSD, therapy should be tailored to the individual’s needs and not what the therapist thinks is fascinating. Also, the therapist has not done any research to show that these complementary mind and body approaches is more effective in treating PTSD.

The supervisor was right talking about placing the needs of the client first especially due to the fact that the therapist has not met with the patient yet. Also bringing up the idea of finding out evidence-based data that corroborates the effectiveness of the therapy she is suggesting. Complementary relaxation therapies have been less studied, hence there are fewer data to support its effectiveness (Lancaster, Teeters, Gros & Back, 2016).

Episode 3

In this episode, the therapist responded with empathy and support for this patient, she listened without judgement or interruption as she let him express himself. When she introduced the kind of therapy, she thought was appropriate for his diagnosis of PTSD, she explained thoroughly and asked for his permission without imposing on him. She gave him an option to try deep breathing technique while teaching and explaining the right way to perform it and the principle behind the technique. After the patient was more relaxed, she asked him to continue with his story. That was very therapeutic and helped create an environment of ease and trust. Deep breathing has been associated with better health outcomes especially in problems like anxiety, GERD, hypertension (Rickard, Dunn & Brouch, 2015). It is thought that this voluntary deep breathing technique helps to reset the autonomic nervous system by acting on stretch receptors producing a parasympathetic state (Rickard, Dunn & Brouch, 2015). The biomechanics of deep breathing has to do with the flow of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases to and from the blood. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to the brain (Russo, Santarelli & O’Rourke, 2017).

Exposure therapy is an evidence based therapy that has been proven to work well in the treatment of PTSD amongst veterans especially those with an addiction (Flanagan, Korte, Killeen & Back, 2016).I would consider using same therapy as it teaches individuals to confront their fears by slowly facing their memories of trauma and it has been proven to be safe and effective (Flanagan, Korte, Killeen & Back, 2016).

Episode 4

In response to Mr. Levy’s question, I would respond by continuing to ask affect questions, asking about specific step by step details of this event. I would ask if he remembers any other sensory memories from the day, like sounds or smells. I will repeat what he described and bring him back to the present by asking how he feels presently and encouraging the use of the deep breathing technique he just learned.

Episode 5

Therapist have to deal with trauma affected patients and trauma informed supervision should address the challenges these therapists face working with trauma affected patients. If I was supervising this therapist, I would first and foremost encourage self-care. I will respond to her in a way that will promote self-reflection and help her process any persisting reactions to her patient’s story.


A true comprehension of what the underline cause of a client’s addictive behaviors can remain unknown, but finding a therapeutic modality to illicit communication between the client and the therapist is paramount. Addiction is a compulsive condition that is experienced by millions of people all over the world, leading to reduced self-control and painful cravings Bradshaw et al., (2014), The addicted person though aware of the harsh/negative consequences of the addictive behaviors still engages in the behavior. Like Mr. Levy, this behavior might often lead to dysfunctional family environment. Addiction can be treated with ET and or CBT. Most important in the treatment of addiction, is the patient’s willingness to quit the behavior and accept the therapy.





















American Psychological Association. (2020). What is addiction? Retrieved from

Flanagan, J. C., Korte, K. J., Killeen, T. K., & Back, S. E. (2016). Concurrent Treatment of Substance Use and PTSD. Current psychiatry reports18(8), 70. doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0709-y

Fuehrlein, B., Ralevski, E., O’Brien, E., Jane, J. S., Arias, A. J., & Petrakis, I. L. (2014). Characteristics and drinking patterns of veterans with alcohol dependence with and without post-traumatic stress disorder. Addictive behaviors39(2), 374-378.

Gaher, R. M., Simons, J. S., Hahn, A. M., Hofman, N. L., Hansen, J., & Buchkoski, J. (2014). An experience sampling study of PTSD and alcohol-related problems. Psychology of addictive behaviors28(4), 1013.

Lancaster, C. L., Teeters, J. B., Gros, D. F., & Back, S. E. (2016). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Overview of Evidence-Based Assessment and Treatment. Journal of clinical medicine5(11), 105. doi: 10.3390/jcm5110105

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Levy family: Episodes 1 [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Levy family: Episodes 2 [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Levy family: Episodes 3 [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Levy family: Episodes 4 [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013c). Levy family: Episodes 5 [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012c). In their own words [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.



Rickard, K. B., Dunn, D. J., & Brouch, V. M. (2015). Breathing techniques associated with improved health outcomes.

Russo, M. A., Santarelli, D. M., & O’Rourke, D. (2017). The physiological effects of slow breathing in the healthy human. Breathe (Sheffield, England)13(4), 298–309. doi:10.1183/20734735.009817

Sars, D., & van Minnen, A. (2015). On the use of exposure therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders: a survey among cognitive behavioral therapists in the Netherlands. BMC psychology3(1), 26. doi: 10.1186/s40359-015-0083-2

Velleman, R., & Templeton, L. J. (2016). Impact of parents’ substance misuse on children: An update. BJ Psych Advances22(2), 108-117.

Watkins, L. E., Sprang, K. R., & Rothbaum, B. O. (2018). Treating PTSD: A Review of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Interventions. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience12, 258. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00258

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