A hero's journey: Becoming and transcendence in addiction recovery

Rodriguez, Lymarie (2019) A hero's journey: Becoming and transcendence in addiction recovery. Journal of Psychological Therapies, 8. ISSN 2054-457x (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper presents findings from a study that explored young adult men’s lived experience of addiction recovery whilst participating in Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Step fellowships in the UK. It argues that changes in self-narrative and temporality might be critical features of the experience of addiction recovery in young adults, facilitating the process of individuation. Examples from the participants’ accounts are provided to illustrate the changes in their sense of identity in light of their recovery trajectories. Participant recovery, as in the mythical hero’s journey, shows itself to be a quest through transformation and growth into a genuine and balanced selfhood, necessitating the difficult transcendence of an unwholesome selfhood that was manifested in their addiction. In mythical literature, the hero develops authenticity and a higher ethical conduct as the result of a process of individuation, and we can find evidence to suggest a similar occurrence in the participants’ journeys. Finally, I reflect on the limitations of the biomedical language of addiction and the potential implications of the hero’s journey myth in the delineation of a more humane and empathic discourse on young men’s recovery and self-change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Addiction recovery, young adulthood, Alcoholic Anonymous
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Yr Athrofa – the Institute of Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Lymarie Rodriguez
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 08:29
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 08:29
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1091

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