Date of Award
Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Ram A. Cnaan, Ph.D.
Peter W. Gariti, Ph.D.
William D. Dundon, Ph.D.
INCORPORATING CLIENTS' UNDERLYING RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL BELIEFS IN THERAPY MAY IMPROVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PRACTICES, ESPECIALLY FOR PERSONS OF COLOR
Author: Marguerite E. Hendrickson
Dissertation Chair: Ram Cnaan, Ph.D.
Although pharmacological breakthroughs have improved treatment outcomes for
alcohol and opioid dependence through decreased cravings and blocked reward
effects, there are no FDA approved medications for the treatment of cocaine
dependence. In addition, many routinely practiced psychotherapy models for
addiction remain limited in their effects. As composite case studies will reveal,
cravings and urges to use cocaine prevent clients from obtaining and sustaining
abstinence. Multiple case studies will examine how clients use their underlying
religious and spiritual beliefs to cope with cravings and urges. The first paper in
this dissertation investigates how clients’ religious problem-solving styles can both
positively and negatively affect the recovery process when viewed through the lens
of a scientifically validated instrument, Religious Problem-Solving Scale. The
second paper examines how addressing religious/spiritual issues in therapy may
strengthen the therapeutic alliance with African Americans in outpatient treatment
for cocaine dependence. Given the research evidence that African Americans and
Hispanics actively engage their religious/spiritual beliefs during recovery, this multi-
paper dissertation suggests that clinicians adapt evidence-based therapies by
incorporating religious/spiritual content to meet the needs of the growing
population of color in the United States.
Hendrickson, Marguerite E., "Incorporating Clients' Underlying Religious and Spiritual Beliefs in Therapy May Improve Substance Abuse Treatment Practices, Especially for Persons of Color" (2013). Doctorate in Social Work (DSW) Dissertations. 41.
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