Ever-emerging meaning: An exploration into the way in which families and therapists position themselves in stories of drug misuse

Zafeiropoulou, Evangelia (2022) Ever-emerging meaning: An exploration into the way in which families and therapists position themselves in stories of drug misuse. DSysPsych thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of East London. Full text available

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This research study aims to explore the historical, social, political, economic and cultural origins of the drug misuse meaning through the way that Greek families and clinicians position themselves within their discourses about drug misuse. The research question under which this research study has been conducted is the following: "What are the stories constructed by family members and therapists around the drug misuse story within the family therapy context; how do family members and therapists position themselves, and how they are positioned within family stories of drug misuse?" Data were collected through four semi-structured interviews with families with a drug misusing member that had already completed the drug misuse treatment, a focus group discussion meeting with five clinicians, and three semi-structured interviews with clinicians. The method of Foucauldian Discourse Analysis has been deployed for the analysis of my collected data. The analysis led to the identification of six discourses: (1) Family as an idealized transgenerational place of belonging (2) Family as a political and economic institution (3) Gender differences and familial leadership positions (4) 'Magkas' positioning as a choice of subversion (5) Drug misuse positioning (6) Drug misuse treatment and Greek ‘ethos'. The findings of this study depict the significance of the Greek family institution either as an idealized or as an economic and political unit in which the power and the rivalry embedded in the gender differences revives the boldness of the political figure of 'Magkas' and the 'cunningness' of the traditional patriarchal Greek family's oppressed woman. These re-emerging Greek political and social identities seem to be embraced by the drug misuse positioning that embodies a denial of submission and a cunning way of avoiding life's difficulties and oppressions. Although the drug misuse treatment is presented to offer a drug misuse resolution, it does not seem to address the addictive mentality of 'magkia' and 'cunningness' which appears to remain unaffected within the ex-drug misusing family. Additionally, the mindset of 'magkia' and 'cunningness' is seen to be fueled by the historical, political, economic and social mechanisms that have also enabled the transgenerational Greek family with a drug misuse member to survive throughout the years.

Item Type: Thesis (DSysPsych)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of East London 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 > Patient/Therapist Interaction
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2790

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