Phenomenology of Counseling Psychologists Services and Expectations Involved in Treating Substance Abuse Patients in Karachi Section Articles

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Samiya Nafees
Gulnaz Anjum

Abstract

Substance abuse can produce/incur significant costs for the society. Around 6.9 million adults were estimated to be addicted to illicit drugs in 2013. Adolescents constitute the most vulnerable segment of the population in this regard between the ages of 16-35. Although the rate/number of drug addicts is rising substantially, an adequate supply of qualified counseling psychologists and mental health professionals for their treatment is still unavailable. Therefore, this research was undertaken to explore some of these crucial aspects from the counselors’ perspective. This mix-method study focused on the effectiveness of these clinical professionals in treating substance abuse patients in Karachi. The qualitative research design used for this study was based on phenomenological interviews. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with professional counselors and clinical counseling psychologists currently working with substance abuse patients. Data was categorized into different themes and significant aspects of the phenomenological experiences of participants were processed using thematic analysis. Data on success rate, dropout rate and relapse rate was collected from clinical institutes to measure the positive outcomes of the treatment of drug addicts. The results showed that substantial opportunities are/support was provided by counseling psychologists and their clinical institutes to ensure proper treatment for substance abuse patients. Major aspects of the treatment process such as group and family counseling, relapse and culture were catered by them. However, major changes must be brought in order to cater for individual needs.

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