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AI1.2012 Use recognised theoretical models to provide therapeutic support to individuals who misuse substances


For this standard you need to provide therapeutic support to individuals who misuse substances. It is intended for those who provide support to individuals within an agreed framework, rather than offering advice and guidance on an ad hoc basis. You should pay particular regard to developing the therapeutic relationship in the earlier stages of working together as the substance user may have experienced a lack of positive regard, lack of empathy and a judgemental attitude from professionals in the past. Attention should also be given in this unit to activities that are not face to face work, but support the therapeutic process such as liaison, research and attending supervision. Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies. Version 2

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:
  1. legal and organisational requirements and policies requirements relevant to the functions being carried out
  2. the limits and boundaries of your duties, responsibilities and power and why it is important to explain these to the individual
  3. the principles around supervision and appraisal
  4. the individual's rights and how these should inform and influence the formation of a relationship between you and the individual
  5. the importance of encouraging individuals to express their perspectives, values and feelings
  6. organisational and legal procedures and requirements regarding the recording, storage and passing on of information relating to individuals and work undertaken with them
  7. professional codes of practice
  8. the principles of active listening
  9. the cycle of change model
  10. all models explaining substance misuse
  11. the principles of motivation and dependence
  12. the underlying issues that may lead to substance misuse
  13. a range of recognised theoretical models
  14. possible support mechanisms for individual
  15. the availability of substance misuse services in the local area
  16. the characteristics of substance misuse services in the local area
  17. agency codes of practice
  18. knowledge of research, how and where to access it
  19. how to analyse research
  20. the range of different substances and their implications for the provision of services
  21. national substance misuse policies and priorities
  22. the range of substance misuse services offered by your organisation or other organisations
  23. the specific needs of individuals who are substance users, and how to meet these needs
  24. the range of behaviours that can be expected from substance users, and how to deal with these
  25. the risks substance misuse may pose to individuals and how to minimise these risks
  26. the risks substance misuse may pose to others, how to assess and minimise these risks
  27. the substance misuse jargon/terminology, commonly used
  28. the essentials around mental health, dual diagnosis and relevant services
  29. the continuum of substance use from recreational to problematic
  30. the continuum of approaches to working with substance misuse from abstinence to harm reduction
  31. cultural and religious issues that may impact when working with substance misuse
  32. the rights of individuals with whom you come into contact

Performance Criteria

You must be able to:
  1. create a therapeutic setting in which individuals feel comfortable enough to express their requirements
  2. explore individuals' expectations in order to agree methods of working
  3. explain the nature of the service, including boundaries, constraints and what can be expected of the service
  4. encourage individuals to identify their requirements and work with any tension between their hopes, expectations and what the service can offer
  5. assess the appropriateness of starting the current therapeutic intervention
  6. ensure that the therapeutic contract is realistic
  7. examine your own attitude towards drugs and alcohol, monitoring the impact that may have on the therapeutic process
  8. monitor your thoughts, feelings, and emotional reactions to clients so that you can correctly attribute them
  9. monitor and review the therapeutic process to ensure it remains of value
  10. use a consistent theoretical base informed by recognised theoretical models, adapting these where necessary
  11. confirm with the individual when the process is drawing to its conclusion
  12. explore with the individual the implications of other forms of treatment continuing beyond the therapeutic intervention
  13. comply with all relevant legislation, agency codes of practice, guidelines and ethical requirements
  14. enable individuals to express their concerns freely through positive regard, active listening and a non-judgemental attitude
  15. encourage individuals to identify and explore their needs
  16. reflect back, clarify and review with individuals your perception of their feelings
  17. assist the individual to prioritise their needs
  18. identify and agree needs that cannot be met and facilitate access to additional or alternative sources of support
  19. work with individuals on any tension between their hopes and expectations and the reality of resource limitations
  20. identify with the individual a suitable range of options to meet their needs
  21. ensure individuals understand the information provided
  22. outline the potential consequences, advantages and disadvantages of the options according to the individual's circumstances
  23. check individual's understanding of options and methods that may be used
  24. identify any potential problems with the chosen course of action
  25. confirm the course of action that is being taken and check for understanding and agreement with the individual
  26. record the course of action according to agency requirements
  27. explore and select methods with the individual that are most likely to be effective
  28. agree with individuals the methods to be adopted
  29. identify any requirements that cannot be met and establish alternative actions for dealing with them

Additional Information

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004): Dimension: HWB4 Enablement to address health and wellbeing needs
AI1.2012 Use recognised theoretical models to provide therapeutic support to individuals who misuse substances
Final version approved March 2012 © copyright Skills For Health,
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