Stories from family life: Living with problematic substance use and recovery in Norway

Lindeman, Sari Kaarina (2022) Stories from family life: Living with problematic substance use and recovery in Norway. DSysPsych thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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The research project is a small-scale, narrative study aiming to gain insight into problematic substance use (PSU) and PSU recovery processes from a family perspective. Exemplified with ethnographic participant observation and qualitative interviews, the research project shows how family members talk about their lives with PSU at different times and from the perspective of different family positions and roles. Such knowledge is essential for understanding the needs of families and supporting family participation in long-term recovery processes. The overarching research question is: How do people living in families with problematic substance use construct their family life through their stories? The following sub-questions elaborate on the main research question. 1. How do family members talk about their past, present, and future roles while living with problematic substance use? 2. How do family members assemble meaning about the impact of problematic substance use in their roles and relationships in the family? 2. How do family members voice their concerns and fears related to problematic substance use through their stories? The narrative approach was chosen as the main methodology. The findings, presented as stories, demonstrate how complex and multifaceted family members' stories are. "A story of love" and" A story of family ties" are about the importance of family life and relations. In contrast, "A story of fear and preparedness", and "A story of protecting other family members from PSU" are about experienced dangers and efforts to protect the family members. "A story about the unforgivable", "A story of doubt", and "A story about tough choices" provide insight into intolerable dilemmas related to life in families. "Stories difficult to tell", "Directing the stories", and "Stories with chaos" show how stories are told. This research project suggests that researchers and professionals need more awareness of acute tensions and paradoxes in families.

Item Type: Thesis (DSysPsych)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Essex in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy. Click on 'Organisation' in the Related URLs below to see other titles and abstracts of doctoral systemic and family therapy research carried out on the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock.
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Addictions
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Family Therapies
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Related URLs:

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