Tim Brunson DCH

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A study of visualization and addiction treatment

When psycho-educational groups were compared to groups that taught progressive relaxation and visualization in an outpatient chemical dependency treatment program, both interventions showed similar improvement on the 76 subjects in the study. Both groups met for 6 one-hour sessions over the space of 3 weeks.

Pre- and posttest instruments used to compare levels of emotional arousal, self-efficacy, and coping resources were State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Situational Confidence Questionnaire (SCQ), and the Coping Resources Inventory (CRI)

T-tests revealed that there were significant pretest/posttest improvements (p < .05) for both groups on almost all the dependent measures. However, there were impressive differences among those subjects who achieved greater degrees of relaxation and increased involvement in the imagery session.

The researcher concludes that although there is little empirical research that evaluates the effectiveness of psychoeducation treatment provided by chemical dependency treatment programs, the findings support that psychoeducation treatment produces positive treatment effects. However, it appears that combining the 2 interventions may yield even stronger results, and perhaps imagery in some cases is the intervention of choice. Kominars, KD. A study of visualization and addiction treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997 May-Jun;14(3):213-23.

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