Addiction Research Paper
RUNNING HEAD: #438 Research Report #1 # 438 Research Report on One Story at a Time: Narrative Therapy, Older Adults, and Addictions by Danika Varady Adler School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL Instructor: William P. Karmia M. A. , N. C. C. , C. S. A. D. C. , L. C. P. C. # 438 Research Report on One Story at a Time: Narrative Therapy, Older Adults, and Addictions General Information I. Title of the Article: One Story at a Time: Narrative Therapy, Older Adults, and Addictions II.
Source of the article: Journal of Applied Gerontology (2009 – issue number 28) III. Authors of the article: P. J. Gardner, and J. M. Poole IV. Summary of the article The selected article presents a study evaluating whether or not narrative therapy has an effect on older adults with addictions. The article defines narrative therapy as “unearthing dominant or ‘problem’ stories in peoples lives, understanding them, and retelling them in alternative and empowering ways” (Gardner & Poole, 2009, p. 602).
The researchers wanted to examine the gaps in research of narrative therapy because the amount of research done has been primarily focused on working only with children and family therapy. The amount of empirical research for narrative therapy is very little, but there are many of examples of observational accounts, case studies, theoretical discussions, and critiques. The researchers used a design that combined participant observation, in-depth field notes, and complex interviewing models (Gardner & Poole, 2009, p. 604).
The participants were chosen by purposeful sampling where they needed to be willing to attend an eight week narrative therapy group, looking for help with their addiction, and older than the age of 55. The researchers collected data by coding participant observations and interviews. The observations were made while participants were a part of group narrative therapy, and the interviews were focused on how helpful the narrative therapy was, and how the participants felt about the group process and ages of the participants.
The researchers coded these observations and interviews by examining audio recordings, interview scripts, and field notes. Then, a second coding was used to organize the data into certain categories. Overall, the findings suggested that the narrative therapy was helpful. Participants indicated that they felt externalizing the problem, developing the team, and creating the alternative story was the most helpful. They also found that being apart of a group that was around the same age range was very helpful.
Lastly the researchers indicated that a sense of urgency, cohort experience, and wisdom connected all of the participants to the therapy sessions (Gardner & Poole, 2009, p. 612-614). V. Key Points (1) This study emphasizes the need for more research on how narrative therapy affects other populations. (2) This study gives new guidelines to the narrative process of externalizing the problem, developing the team, and creating the alternative story. (3) The results demonstrate how narrative therapy is helpful for group therapy of a focused age. VI. Reviewer’s Comments
I found this article interesting because I had never heard of narrative therapy. The idea of using storytelling as therapy to work through problems with addiction makes sense to me, although I feel it is very similar to the 12-step approach because both approaches use groups to connect and share their experiences with addiction. I do agree with the results that state that having a group composed of participants close in age would be very effective. The participants are able to easily relate to each other based on their notion that time is precious, the sharing of cohort experiences, and being wiser than those younger.
I have a hard time understanding how the researchers could effectively code their data from such subjective dialogues. It would be hard to categorize the data without being biased. All in all, I feel the research was very interesting and I feel that narrative therapy was found to be useful to those participating in the experiment, but I think the most important part of the study that led to its usefulness was the fact that all of the participants were older adults. References Gardner, P. J. , & Poole, J. M. One Story at a Time: Narrative Therapy, Older Adults, and Addictions. Journal of Applied Gerontology 2009, 28: 600-620.