How spirituality and positive psychology can work together to help Juanita achieve her goals

Substance abuse counseling lends itself nicely to the integration of positive psychology and spirituality. While both of these therapy approaches have been explored for many years, the integration into substance abuse counseling is a relatively new development. As such, many clients may not be aware of the techniques in positive psychology and spirituality that can be of use in their recovery.

Juanita has been seeking treatment for her marijuana use from you for a month now. While she has significantly cut back on her substance use, she is having difficulty quitting and remaining abstinent for periods that last longer than a few days. In your counseling sessions, Juanita has mentioned that she feels very badly about herself—she feels guilty about being unable to quit and explains that she doesn’t think she is strong enough to quit altogether. She has also expressed nervousness that her boyfriend would no longer like her if she quit smoking, and she has expressed concern that if he leaves her, she wouldn’t be able to find a new boyfriend because she doesn’t believe she is pretty enough. Juanita is also unsatisfied with her job as a cashier at the local grocery store, but has expressed her opinion that she doesn’t think she is smart enough to get a better job. You know from Juanita’s history, that her mother was very critical of Juanita when she was a child and that her father was absent for most of her childhood. In high school, Juanita excelled at classes in biology and math, but she never attended college.

To help Juanita overcome her barriers to marijuana abstinence, write a summary of what the counselor should cover in the next meeting with Juanita. Ensure that you cover the following points:

  • Explain the concepts of positive psychology to Juanita.
  • Examine the goals of positive psychology and explain how this approach will help Juanita obtain sobriety, focusing specifically on the concerns and dissatisfactions she has expressed.
  • Design at least two exercises based on positive psychology for Juanita to work on in between counseling sessions.
  • Explain spirituality to Juanita, emphasizing the differences between spirituality and religion.
  • Examine how spirituality and positive psychology can work together to help Juanita achieve her goals.

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