Fals-Stewart Substance Abuse

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Historically, substance abuse was believed to be the problem of the individual and was most effectively treated on an individual basis (Fals-Stewart, O’Farrell, & Birchler, 2004). The crucial role that family members play in the origin and maintenance of substance use and abuse has only been given weight within the last thirty years. Due to this fact, treatment providers have started to utilize families as a way to address an individual’s substance abuse (Fals-Stewart, Lam, & Kelley, 2009; Fals-Stewart et al., 2004; Fals-Stewart, O’Farrell, Birchler, Córdova, & Kelley, 2005; O’Farrell & Clements, 2012; O’Farrell & Schein, 2000). There are currently three family-based theoretical perspectives that provide the foundation for treatment strategies…show more content…
(2004) indicate that BCT can be conducted in several different formats, and it can be provided as either an independent intervention or in addition to individual substance abuse counseling. In regular BCT, the therapist sees the patient and their partner together for 15 to 20 outpatient counseling sessions over a period of 5 to 6 months. In some cases, a therapist may administer group behavioral couples therapy and treat three or four couples together over 9 to 12 weeks (Fals-Stewart et al., 2004). If necessary, a course of brief behavioral couples therapy could be completed in six sessions. Appropriate candidates for BCT are partners that are married or cohabitating for at least one year if not married; couples in which neither partner has a co-occurring mental illness that might interfere with therapy; and couples in which only one partner has a problem with substance use (Fals-Stewart et al., 2005). Couples are excluded from participating in BCT if there is evidence that the relationship is harmful to one or both partners, e.g. couples who have a history of domestic violence (Fals-Stewart et al., 2004). Overall, BCT is most effective when only one partner has a problem with substances, as relationships in which both partners abuse substances often do not support abstinence (Fals-Stewart et al., 2004). Now that a broad understanding of BCT has been provided, it is time to discuss the session content and

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