Experiences of participants of support groups, in relation to substance misuse and shame

Crick, Emma

July 2009

Thesis or dissertation

© 2009 Emma Crick. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Support groups are commonly found to be empowering and constructive of the mental health of those attending, not least within the arena of substance misuse. Shame on the other hand is an emotion that is detrimental to the social functioning and well-being ofmany participants of such groups. The conjunction of these contrasting foci, are explored in the following research portfolio.This is comprised of three sections. The first is a systematic literature review, collating literature in the field of support groups and shame or internalised stigma; a close relation.The literature is synthesised and presented in the form of themes arising from theinformation extracted, with reference to the quality of studies selected. The review concludes by delineating the overarching benefit of groups for those who may suffer shame or internalised stigma.Part two describes an empirical study in which the experiences of parents of illicit substance misusers are examined. This is done so qualitatively, with reference to parents’ understanding of the role that shame and stigma may play in their lives and experiences of the support group they attend. Outcomes of thematic analyses of interviews with participants are presented, and major themes are discussed. Benefits for parents of attending the support group is highlighted as one of the main themes.The final section of the portfolio consists of the appendices which support Sections One and Two, including a brief reflective summary of the research process from the author’s perspective.

Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
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