Professional Books -- Network Therapy for Alcohol and Drug Abuse: A New Approach in Practice by M. Galanter

By Diamond, Guy | Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, January 1995 | Go to article overview

Professional Books -- Network Therapy for Alcohol and Drug Abuse: A New Approach in Practice by M. Galanter


Diamond, Guy, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy


The treatment of adult alcohol and drug use poses a difficult task for all therapists. Galanter offers a straightforward clinical model and practical advice on how to structure and proceed with treatment. Galanter's work reflects the current zeitgeist of tailoring psychotherapy models to the treatment of specific disorders. Toward this goal, his book focuses almost exclusively on how to use the patient's family and friends to create a therapeutic context potent enough to combat the denial and addiction that typify this disorder. Galanter does not propose to treat the dysfunctional family systems directly. Rather, and more like a strategic approach, the treatment remains symptom focused, with abstinence as the primary goal. The therapist uses the social network to reduce addicts' secrecy and isolation and increase their support and accountability.

Using case studies as the primary teaching tool, Galanter instructs the reader in how to construct and use the social network as a therapeutic force. He includes guidelines for selecting which patients will typically respond to this approach, selecting network members, and keeping the treatment agenda focused. He suggests that treatment should focus on maintaining abstinence, supporting the integrity of the network, and securing future stability of the addict. Chapter 5 offers a helpful overview of typical patient and network members' resistances. One of the more helpful chapters describes how simultaneous attendance at AA meetings provides a necessary support to the therapy. This chapter will familiarize the reader with the AA theory and program and help the therapist learn to tolerate the less desirable aspects of AA. …

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