Drug addiction from a psychodynamic perspective: Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) as transitional phenomena

David Potik*, Miriam Adelson, Shaul Schreiber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose. To present a psychodynamic (specifically object-relations) approach to the understanding of drug addiction and recovery among patients in Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT), and to discuss the role of psychodynamic psychotherapy among drug addicts, focusing on the processes which patients undergo during counselling. Methods. We review some psychodynamic explanations of the drug addiction phenomenon, and illustrate the psychodynamic comprehension framework of the issue according to Winnicott's theory, by describing a few psychotherapeutic interventions with our MMT patients. Results. The main premise is that treatment in a MMT program is accompanied by changes in-patients' life-styles and behaviour, which are parallel to transitional phenomena. As such, methadone and counselling serve as transitional objects during these processes. Conclusions. Drug addiction is a widespread phenomenon that affects many areas in the addicts' life; therefore, some eclecticism from therapists has a beneficial effect on the outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-325
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

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