One-size-fits-all - “No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals. Matching treatment settings, interventions and services to each individual’s particular needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace and society.”
~ Conclusions from 1999 Study of Treatment Methods: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) & National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Power of Choice - Studies of recovery motivation consistently show that people are more likely to persist in a course of action, and to succeed in it, when they have chosen it for themselves. The same therapeutic method works better when a person chooses it, rather than when it is imposed upon them. People are more commi tted to a plan that is of their own “making and addresses their personal concerns. "No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals. Matching treatment settings, interventions and services to each individualʼs particular needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace and society." - Conclusions from 1999 Study of Treatment Methods " National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Strength-based and Self-Determination Theories
LifeRing emphasizes a strength-based and self-determination approach. A strength-based approach focuses on future outcomes and strengths that people bring to a problem or crisis while self-determination theory highlights the importance of humans' evolved inner resources for personality development and self-regulation. LifeRing's solution-focused philosophy enhances the capacities of individuals, groups, families, neighbourhoods and communities to deal with their own challenges. Empowerment results from being treated with respect and having strengths acknowledged and enhanced.
Researchers from the UVic Department of Psychology have helped LifeRing Canada in a variety of ways
In spring and summer of 2012, LifeRing Canada partnered with Dr. Erica Woodin and Alina Sotskova, M.Sc. from the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria to carry out a research project with LifeRing Canada members.
Some of the goals of this study were:
1) To learn more about the members of LifeRing Canada.
2) To explore how participation in LifeRing is connected with improved well-being.
3) To understand different perspectives on the strengths of LifeRing, as well as the areas where LifeRing can potentially improve.
To achieve these goals, we asked persons who attend LifeRing to complete a survey. The survey questions asked about experiences in recovery, mental health and well-being, substance use, and experiences with LifeRing meetings.
Acknowledgements: This project was supported by a PhD Fellowship from Intersections of Mental Health Perspectives in Addiction Training (IMPART), a program of Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), awarded to A. Sotskova.
Important note: These findings are preliminary and may change as we test more complex models.
A total of 50 participants completed the LifeRing survey. Some completed the survey more than once. The following results are based on the responses of the 50 participants at one point in time. These analyses do not reflect any changes over time.
Summary of preliminary findings:
- LifeRing study participants varied widely in age, occupation, level of education, and socio-economic position. However, there were fewer women and First Nations persons represented in our sample relative to the population of Greater Victoria.
- Participants who attended more LifeRing meetings also reported better mental health and decreased stress compared to participants who attended fewer LifeRing meetings.
- Participants who felt that there was a good match between their beliefs and LifeRing’s philosophy were more likely to attend LifeRing meetings regularly.
- Members who were more motivated to reduce their substance use (i.e., feeling ready to make the change) and who actively participated in LifeRing meetings (i.e., attending regularly, speaking up at meetings) reported higher levels of sobriety.
- Over 50% of study participants were also involved in doing other personal work (i.e. counselling, other peer support services) or engaged with other services.
- Regular involvement with LifeRing appears to be associated with better overall mental health.
- However, we cannot say that LifeRing was the only contributing factor to this finding. Many (over 50%) study participants were also involved in doing other personal work or engaged with other services.
Research questions for the future:
- Are there differences between LifeRing members who do and do not make use of other recovery services?
- What are the strengths of LifeRing?
- What are ways the LifeRing can improve as an organization?
Stay posted to learn more about our progress in answering these exciting questions!