“The Compatibility of the Disease Concept with a Psychodynamic Approach in the Treatment of Alcoholism,” Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Spring, 1985.
Controversy exists regarding treatment approaches to alcoholism. The disease model or the psychodynamic model have been advocated as though they were mutually exclusive. This paper discusses how both can be utilized. The focus on alcoholism as a disease helps the patient to view his addiction as something to be arrested and managed, not understood/rationalized. However, psychodynamic formulations are necessary to develop an individualized treatment plan to resolve the patient's resistances to availing himself of the help Alcoholics Anonymous and alcoholism therapy have to offer. Some characteristic resistances, and techniques used to resolve them, are offered.