The challenge of balance in patients with double pathology

The intervention with programs of brief emotional treatment, aspires to be a challenge, if what is tried is a progressive recovery and maintained in the time. Although it may seem utopian to achieve it in the medium term (six months), it is not unattainable over time (one year). However, would it then be possible for people with dual pathology (PD) addiction disorder and mental disorder to do so? Here, controversy may arise. On the one hand, there would be the professionals who would consider it with great difficulty and not put it into practice, and on the other, those specialized in the subject, who consider that it is possible to achieve it, above all, when this possibility is verified through scientific evidence.

In order to confirm the latter, an empirical investigation is reflected “The development of emotional stability in dual pathology: a brief intervention proposal”, carried out in collaboration with the Fundación Arzobispo Miguel Roca Proyecto Hombre de Valencia. With the aim of acquiring emotional balance through learning how to manage and regulate emotions. The sample consisted of 27 volunteer participants, distributed in two groups: treatment (n = 21) and control (n = 6), of which the problem was proven in the persistence of their emotional instability. All of them were affected at a personal level (physical and mental health), at work (loss of employment or inability to obtain one), at family and social level (isolated). In addition, there was a decrease in the recognition and regulation of emotions. Subsequently, it was confirmed that this affectation prevented them from achieving the balance they needed.

The intervention was carried out through a treatment of seven sessions of the “TECI” program (Concise Emotional Integral Treatment) at group level. The following are some of the important conclusions of this study:

Unblocking and finding answers and solutions in the face of their problems, since the lack of maintenance of abstinence makes them persist in their instability.
Group cohesion, communication and sharing experiences. Through group psychotherapy, with an emotional-cognitive-behavioral approach, where changes were established.
Perception of a state of mental health lower than physical. The lack of self-perception of the mental pathology, can influence the adherence to the treatment and derive in a more expensive rehabilitation.
The results of emotional regulation were significant in the treatment group. The dimensions of “attention” and “control” indicated the ability to understand and manage emotions, along with adequate coping with negative experiences.
Improvement in personal, family and social relationships. Since substance use and mental alteration influence behavior and emotional perception.
Remarkable reduction of pathologies, even almost disappeared. The participants had two or more disorders affecting their personality (avoidant, schizotypic, paranoid, psychotic thought, histrionic, narcissistic, etc.) and had consumed two or more narcotic substances (alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, etc.). They obtained high therapeutics, maintained abstinence (six months) and achieved their short-term objectives.
However, as it is a pioneering study, its replication to other patient samples and in other environments is considerable in order to refute its usefulness. Another relevant aspect would be the suggestion that professionals contemplate the brief intervention, in a preliminary way to the long-term therapeutic treatment. Its effectiveness can be assessed in terms of costs and benefits and thus optimize therapeutic success.

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