Empathy Begets Hope – The Core Ideas of CCAR

Student: Andrew Wysocki*
Mentor: Susan Gannon
Major: Psychology 

When working with people who have developed an addiction to drugs, group therapy has been shown to be an effective strategy in preventing relapse. Group therapy is cathartic and the cohesiveness of the group gives people a motivation for getting and staying abstinent. Catharsis can be achieved through discussing a person’s descent into addiction (through personal recollection) and the direction that their personal recovery is taking. In addition to group cohesiveness, personal motivation can be strengthened by finding something non-material that the person can use as a way of keeping themselves motivated to remain abstinent. Therapy which focuses on ways to live positive lifestyles can also be effective when done in an empathetic and non-judgmental manner. Feedback from such techniques has been shown to be effective based on the positive directions of further questions as well as the desire to spread the inspiration in other settings. Working in such a setting can also influence further studies in a postsecondary setting for those who have shown an inclination in the helping professions.

*Honors Senior