Building Blocks of treatment
We have all heard about building blocks. There are good building blocks and blocks that are fragile. Is it important to find the correct foundation? If you build a house on sand it will sink!
It is more difficult to work with something when information is missing. We constantly refer to ‘building blocks’. Why? Because we recognise the importance of the ‘full picture’ when a task is being carried out. If an individual has all the information, it allows them to make an informed choice.
Should we consider treatment for substance use in this way? It seems at times to be difficult for professionals to engage and fully accept, when working with a substance user, that they get some form of enjoyment from their substance use. What is it about this that is minimalised, trivialised and dismissed by professionals and policy makers when developing interventions for the substance user. That is not to undermine the difficulty journey that a client will have to go through, in order to divorce this relationship.
At Janus we believe that the only way to improve outcomes regarding substance use, is to support the client in gaining “total awareness” By this statement we mean being made aware of the whole picture. The side of them that enjoys their substance use and the side that wants to stop. After all, you cannot prevent someone from consuming substances. However, there is something powerful about awareness. If delivered in the right way, it can get in the way of pleasure. It means you can no longer use out of ignorance, and at times the client has a real fear around this.
It is important to remember that when a service user presents at a service they do not know what the ‘building blocks’ of the treatment journey entails. However, as professionals we should have an awareness of building blocks, or have access to as much available information as possible. We should not filter information to fit in with our own belief or value system. We should strive to offer interventions that present a full package of care for the individual – and at times this may be uncomfortable to not only the client but also the professional. What we do know is we wouldn’t expect a house to strive without strong foundations hence the interesting statement:
Un-comfortability is growth. This also applies to the professional.