To improve our treatment models we don’t just need to know ‘what works’, we need to know ‘how it works’ – how people respond to the treatment (or not) enabling them to make transformative changes from addiction into recovery. Research has moved into the area of mechanisms in the past 10 years using a range of methodologies. This presentation reviews some of the most interesting mechanisms of change, including psychological, spiritual, behavioural and identity change, the emerging evidence and the implications for treatment/therapy. The presenter’s own research will be explained and related to current trends in our understanding of addiction.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the change in research focus from efficacy to mechanisms
2. Reflect on how treatment and therapy from addictions produce change in ways not explained by the underlying theory
3. Be able to critique the 'technology model' of psycho-social interventions

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