A new means of treating addiction

Addiction to alcohol and other substances is a significant and growing problem. The Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps Programme is the standard method for treating addictions, and defines an ordered program which, if completed, should (in theory) break the addiction. Its level of success, however, is incredibly low.

Two main problems in this regard are the failure of the addict to complete the programme and their relapse back into addiction. It’s clear that a new approach is needed, one which better integrates those treating addiction.

By combining the 12 Steps programme and the idea of “Life Script”, a concept from Transactional Analysis, Maria Moore’s book Script and Addiction: Powerlessness demonstrates that a much higher success rate can be achieved. The author pioneered the approach for five years, achieving an improved rate of success from the combination.

The approach is soon being implemented in Delamere Health in Manchester, in what will be the UK’s first purpose-built addiction and behavioural wellness centre. Maria will be training all of the staff in TA Life-Script and the method will be a fundamental part of the centre’s treatment, a move which represents the first real departure from traditional abstinence-based models for forty years.

Mike Delaney, the CEO and Clinical Director of the treatment provider Bayberry Ltd, helped Maria implement her research and was hugely impressed with its efficacy:

“Although I had hoped for some interesting results I was, at times, astounded by the responses I saw from clients who had previously been treatment-resistant and reluctant to accept the seriousness of their addictions. I saw many clients who readily accepted that they had a specific life-script underpinning many of the dysfunctional behaviours which necessitated their need to escape from the pain of their lives with substances or process addictions.”

One of the most powerful outcomes of the treatment method has been its ability to help those who have been struggling with addiction for many years. One patient, a practising alcoholic for two decades, found the methods to be much more accepting than other forms of counselling they had received:

Psychotherapy, and with it a knowledge of my script, how it came about, and how it guided my beliefs about myself and the world about me enabled me to accept myself and feel comfortable in that world. It also helped to relieve some of the shame. For me, the discovery of script and tying that in with the steps was crucial.

Maria’s book combines the two a comprehensible and common sense way, providing, I believe, a useful basis for psychotherapeutic practitioners to integrate A.A. with their own treatment and enabling those with addiction problems to see how the origins of script can cause the harmful thinking of today. Armed with this it is easier to combat that thinking and achieve a more comfortable life; without that, the process of addiction will continue.”

Maria Moore holds an Honours degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Integrative Psychotherapy, Postgraduate Diplomas in Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and a Diploma in Supervision. She has more than 25 years’ experience in practising psychology, psychotherapy and counselling.

To read an extract from the book or to get your copy, you can visit its page on our website.

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