FAMILY ISSUES & ADDICTIVE DISORDERS
Professor: Dr. George Gonzalez, Ph.D.
This course is designed to provide you with a thorough background in the techniques and theories of family issues and addictive disorders. Additionally, family therapy stretching from initial intake to termination will be examined to give you a broad view of how therapy changes over the course of treatment. The focus of this course is amelioration of problems associated with substance abuse and the interaction of macro and micro systems increasing risk and resilience in achieving this goal. In the macro sphere federal and state policies affect how substance use disorders are defined, who receives treatment, at what level, and at what cost. The micro sphere includes strengths and limitations of the personal relationships of family, friends and others who are impacted by and in turn impact the development of strengths and resources to aid in both prevention and intervention. The dimensions of diversity and the unique impact of age, race, class, color, culture, political ideology, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, gender.
This course is designed to help graduate students develop a family approach to the understanding of the problems of psychoactive substance misuse and dependency and other related disorders. The emphasis is on examination of the reciprocal interaction between the individual experiencing addiction and the various systems of family and marriage that impact misuse, addiction, treatment, and recovery. Sociologically, the course will recognize that the individual addict does not live in a vacuum but is both shaped by and shaper of his or her social and political environment. The strengths perspective and client-centered practices are emphasized throughout. Topics will include the nature of addiction, historical perspectives, strength-based helping strategies including harm reduction, the psychology of addiction, co-existing disorders, and social aspects of addiction including family risks and resilience, racial and ethnic issues, gender and sexual orientation, the nature of mutual help groups, and public policy issues. The content of the course will draw heavily on current research and emphasize critical thinking and analysis of the current controversies in the addiction field. The overall framework of the course rests on the foundation of the strengths perspective and client-centered practices.
Upon completion of the course, students will understand the reciprocal interaction between the individual addict and the various systems that impact addiction, treatment and recovery (such as genetics, family, SES, ethnicity, opportunity, values, and spiritual frameworks). The content of the course will draw heavily on current research and the process will emphasize critical thinking and analysis of the current controversies in the substance misuse field.