In order to have and deliver effective service delivery with regards to drug and alcohol treatment, a learning environment needs to be cultivated. Of course a knowledge of housing, safeguarding both adult and child, BBV, health and safety, risk assessment etc needs to be part of the repertoire of the substance misuse practitioner. Here at Janus we believe there is also an elephant in the room regarding the substance misuse practitioner / professional – that is to say:
Where does the professional go in order to understand the thinking process of the individual consuming substances?
This is the elephant in the room – because there appears to be limited training – if any, on the psychology of the actual substance user. Janus is anxious treatment services have a suitable platform with in their services to reflect and to apply knowledge and learning, especially when interventions are not working, on the client. There is a whole psychological knowledge of the substance user, that should be the backbone of all client work. And the question that Janus is asking: Do we, in our busy schedules have time to reflect, and seriously consider, what we are dealing with when a substance user sits before us? There are many worker:
On what ‘we’ or ‘I’ believe the psychology of the substance user to be like – while passing in the corridor! I suppose this article is asking a very serious question: Is there an over focus on the content of the assessment form, at the expense of practitioners developing a highly cultivated understanding of the psychological skill set required in influencing the thinking and mindset of the client. After all drug and alcohol treatment is about affecting and influencing the clients relationship with their substance/s of choice. Do we need to elevate our thinking regarding what a substance misuse professional is? Do we need to begin saying: The only way to more meaningfully impact on the substance user, is by stating that high level psychological skill, knowledge and training, specific to substance use, are required! Working with substance users is highly skilled work, that baffles many professionals, no matter how lofty their credentials – so maybe we should not dumb down our work and the learning required to do our work.
Can these kinds of skills be cultivated through a one day course? Janus thinks not!