Mental Health (NIMH)

Mental Health (NIMH)

Please no plagiarism and make sure you are able to access all resource on your own before you bid. Main references come from Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018) and/or American Psychiatric Association. (2013). You need to have scholarly support for any claim of fact or recommendation regarding treatment. I have also attached my discussion rubric so you can see how to make full points. Please respond to all 3 of my classmates separately with separate references for each response. You need to have scholarly support for any claim of fact or recommendation like peer-reviewed, professional scholarly journals. If you draw from the internet, I encourage you to use websites from the major mental health professional associations (American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, etc.) or federal agencies (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), etc.). I need this completed by 04/13/19 at 8pm.


Responses to peers. Note that this is measured by both the quantity and quality of your posts. Does your post contribute to continuing the discussion? Are your ideas supported with citations from the learning resources and other scholarly sources? Note that citations are expected for both your main post and your response posts. Note also, that, although it is often helpful and important to provide one or two sentence responses thanking somebody or supporting them or commiserating with them, those types of responses do not always further the discussion as much as they check in with the author. Such responses are appropriate and encouraged; however, they should be considered supplemental to more substantive responses, not sufficient by themselves.

Read a your colleagues’ postings. Respond to your colleagues’ postings.

Respond in one or more of the following ways:

· Ask a probing question.

· Share an insight gained from having read your colleague’s posting.

· Offer and support an opinion.

· Validate an idea with your own experience.

· Make a suggestion.

· Expand on your colleague’s posting.

1. Classmate (J. Car)

Overview of Alcoholics Anonymous

I chose to attend the 12-step program provided by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), as it is one of the most widely used mutual help groups since its inception in 1935. I was admittedly nervous and took a seat in the circle, unsure of how the meeting would go as a visitor. The group leader introduced herself and was very welcoming, asking me to introduce myself. As this was an open meeting, I shared that I was just visiting and the group was very supportive. The Serenity Prayer was said in unison to begin. The lesson of the evening was presented by a participant who recounted his experience and successes with AA in addition to how alcohol had destroyed both his marriage and his health. The 12-steps were mentioned in his description of how AA impacted him, specifically how he believed he was powerless over his addiction and gave credit to God as his higher power for rescuing him and helping him make amends in broken relationships. After listening to this recounting, it was easy to see how his journey back and forth within the 12 steps gave him hope that recovery was possible and solidarity in that others in the group would be striving to create a sober life that was worth living for (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018). The member-run, highly personal, and relaxed atmosphere of the meeting made it a comfortable atmosphere for sharing highly sensitive personal information.

Role of Mutual Help Groups

Mutual help groups may provide an element of treatment that individual therapy cannot, that being the role of a sponsor in the life of the client, one who can be a part of every aspect of his or her life and not only within a counseling session. According to Van Wormer & Davis (2018), 74% of individuals who joined AA requested a sponsor within the first 90 days, showing the acquired desirability of mutual help when it is affirmed by others within the group. In contrast to Twelve Step Facilitation models implemented in treatment centers by professional therapists, the 12-steps utilized in AA do not make demands of members according to any sort of timeline, allowing individuals to choose what level of investment they wish to make in the group and how much effort they will put into following the steps. At this time, the predominant demographic of individuals attending AA meetings in the United States and Canada are middle-aged White males, meaning the format and content of the group may not necessarily be presented in a way that translates to individuals of other cultures (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018). Another drawback is the lack of empirical evidence of the effectiveness of AA, as using control groups and randomization is very difficult to achieve due to the lack of uniformity in attendees and leadership (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018). While one major benefit of AA is the fact that it is run by lay people who are also members of the group, the long-term efficacy of treatment in these groups is difficult to record and implement data. However, the result of abstinence for individuals who attend AA meetings regularly remains high with or without supporting empirical research.

Relapse Prevention and Continuation of Care

Mutual help groups such as AA may be highly effective in alliance with individual psychotherapy due to the unique elements of personal sponsors, lack of pathologizing, and ownership within the group. With the accountability of an individual counselor, a sponsor, and members within the mutual help group, the client will be surrounded by support systems, potentially aiding in preventing relapse. Positive interactions within an AA community contribute to emotional health, having an effect on the brain that is similar to the relaxation experienced in yoga meditation (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018). Therefore, the AA community and treatment from a harm reduction perspective may be enough to empower a client to choose other methods of self-improvement including continuation of individual counseling. Following the 12-step method includes making amends and reconciling with those who have been harmed due to the client’s alcohol addiction, offering the potential for renewed support systems and inner healing to occur.


Greenfield, L., & Tonigan, J. S. (2013).The general Alcoholics Anonymous tools of recovery: The adoption of the 12-step practices and beliefs. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(3), 553–561.

Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A strengths perspective (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

2. Classmate (A. Mc)

Overview: Celebrate Recovery

This week, I attended a “Celebrate Recovery” meeting at an interdenominational church in my area. While the group was created for substance and behavioral addictions, other behaviors were welcomed and accepted (e.g. anxiety, anger). Collectively, the group recognizes God as their higher power, singing worship songs and stating that they are a believer in Christ at the beginning of the meeting. The group is based on the 12-Step Recovery Model; the focus of this week was Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. The handout given out to complete and think about included difficult questions related to four domains: relationship with others, priorities in life, attitude, and integrity. I found that even I could answer the provided questions and make a moral inventory of myself; in fact, I discovered a few pieces of my life that are still “broken.” Overall, the group was very supportive of each other and welcoming to an observer, like myself. I was able to watch someone receive a chip for walking through the doors for the first time and someone receive a chip for one full year of sobriety, both big accomplishments. The group even gave me a “first time” chip to keep as a memento!

Mutual Help Groups and the 12-Step Model

A major role of mutual help groups is to provide its participants a source of hope and a safe place to create a new identity (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018). In other words, mutual help groups create a community of people with similar struggles. These individuals no longer have to feel alone and have a group of people supporting their journey to abstinence or health. Stories are shared of successes, such as the heroin addict who is eight years sober, a newlywed, and expecting his first child in three months. Hearing these stories instills feelings of hope and a better future.

The 12-Step Model executed in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings has been adopted by most, if not all, mutual help groups. Even so, the model has both strengths and weakness. The spiritual application in the 12-Step Model can prove to be both a strength and a weakness. For example, participants will always have a higher power that they can turn to and rely on in times of difficulty. On days when the meeting is not being held, an individual can step into a church to say a prayer (e.g. the serenity prayer) or open the bible as another source of strength. In contrast, the spiritual approach of the model can turn people away. In one qualitative study based on the interviews of young adults, a few research participants declared 12-step programs to be harmful and an act of using vulnerability to convince members to accept a higher power (Kingston, Knight, Williams, & Gordon, 2015). Ultimately, empirical evidence for the effectiveness of AA and similar 12-step programs is lacking (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018). However, the programs are generally free to attend (or funded by small donations) and reliable (e.g. there are always meetings available to attend).

Relapse Prevention and Continuum of Care

It is safe to say that addiction is a life-long struggle. There will always be temptations and negative experiences that could be drowned out with an addictive substance or behavior. While individual therapy may not always be feasible or practical, especially for life, 12-step programs are. The continuous availability and support of 12-step programs is a huge piece of relapse prevention and continuum of care. The programs allow individuals who have terminated therapy to continue to work on themselves from the inside, out, all while creating a community and friendships with those who have similar goals.


Kingston, S., Knight, E., Williams, J., & Gordon, H. (2015). How do young adults view 12-step
programs? A qualitative study. Journal of addictive diseases, 34(4), 311-322.

Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A strengths perspective (4th
ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

3. Classmate (N. Pra)


The mutual help group I chose was the Family Support Group of those who struggle with substance addictions. The Methadone clinic next door to my job offers these meetings weekly, and I decided to join in, both for the purpose of this discussion, and for my own family history. One of the main lessons I got from the group is that of unity. Everyone was extremely supportive of one another, and I felt an immediate connection to the group facilitator who ensured that each person had the respect and time they needed. Many of the individuals who attended had family members or spouses who were currently in a residential treatment facility for substance use. The group was similar to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) as it also follows the 12-step model. Although we did not touch much on each step specifically, the spirituality and hope that the 12 represent was the foundation to our meeting.

Addiction Recovery

Mutual help groups have been the backbone of sobriety since the early 1930s. They provide an outlet for those who suffer from addiction, and their families to bond with others and overcome the disease (BA, 2019). These groups provide an equal platform for individuals of all socioeconomic statuses to get the help they seek. Individual counseling, although not disputed as being another major component in promoting sobriety and preventing relapse, costs nearly 64% more than going to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) (Van Wormer & Davis, 2018).
The 12-Step Model, which has modeled AA and NA, has its strengths and weaknesses. The first strength is that it pushes its members to self-reflect on their addiction and how it has effected their lives. Step 8 and Step 9 require the individual to write a list of people who have been harmed by their addiction, and to make amends with them (as long it does not cause further damage). Step 6 also requires the member to review their shortcomings, and to challenge themselves on being a better person by giving themselves over to God. A second strength is that the 12 Steps encourage the member to become spiritual. This spirituality increases their faith in themselves, in God, and in others. It also raises their mood, and uplifts their spirits in challenging times. One weakness of the 12-Step Model is that it there are not many evidence-based empirical studies completed on the long-term effects of sobriety (Greenfield & Tonigan, 2013). The second weakness is that since the model concentrates heavily on spirituality, it may unintentionally exclude members that identify as Atheist, or who have no beliefs. This may impede or prevent treatment for their addiction and sobriety.


The 12-Step Model is a circle of life. It encourages the individual to seek their shortcomings, make amends with themselves, those they have hurt, and to meditate on their sobriety and internal strength. The last step, requires the member to sponsor another struggling individual who is in the program. This prevents relapse since the individual not only has themselves to keep in check, but their group members who are constantly supporting them in weekly meetings, and the member that they are sponsoring, who is depending on them also to maintain their sobriety (BA, 2019).


BA, C. B. M. (2019). Twelve-step programs for addicts. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Health. Retrieved from

Greenfield, B. L., & Tonigan, J. S. (2013). The General Alcoholics Anonymous Tools of Recovery: The adoption of 12-step practices and beliefs. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(3), 553–561.

Van Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A strengths perspective (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

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Required Resources

  • Van      Wormer, K., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment: A      strengths perspective (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

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