Diaries of significant events: Socio-linguistic correlates of therapeutic outcomes in patients with addiction problems

Stephenson, Geoffrey M. and Laszlo, J. and Ehmann, Bea and Lefever, Robert M. H. and Lefever, Robin (1997) Diaries of significant events: Socio-linguistic correlates of therapeutic outcomes in patients with addiction problems. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 7 (5). pp. 389-411. ISSN 1052-9284. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The principles of narrative therapy imply that autobiographical diaries written by patients in treatment will not only facilitate but also elucidate progress. The relationship between the linguistic content of diaries and progress in treatment was examined in this study. Complete sets of daily diaries of 'significant events' written by 16 patients receiving treatment for drug, alcohol and food addictions at a residential centre, using the 12-step approach of the Anonymous fellowships, were typed up for analysis. Three forms of socio-linguistic enquiry were employed: narrative characterization; evaluative statement coding and computer analysis of word strategies. Results indicated that success in treatment as rated by counselling and psychiatric staff was associated with the following characteristics of diary narratives. They are (a) focused on individual progress, whether adopting a 'positive interpretative' or 'negative reactive' style; (b) less critical of self over time and more positive about others external to the treatment centre; (c) both positive about the treatment programme and critical of self; (d) using words indicative of 'insight' and 'negativity' as assessed by Pennebaker's LIWC programme. It is concluded that autobiographical material can usefully be employed to assess progress in treatment, and that its intrinsic value in effecting change should be further explored.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: T.J. Sango
Date Deposited: 12 May 2009 08:53
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2014 09:12
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/17974 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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