Read the posts of your peers and respond to at least two. What common themes did you find in terms of the impact of group membership as it relates to mental health and addictions.
Sue and Sue (2016) illustrated similarities and differences among people, and the powerful influence of perceived group membership on how we view others and how we view ourselves. Read the Buckingham, Frings, and Albery article provided in the Resources section, and discuss the impact of group membership or memberships as they relate to the treatment of addiction.
According to Buckingham, Frings, and Albery (2013), “feeling socially connected to other group members has positive implications for physical and mental health.” Membership in groups can help achieve this desirable social connection based on the level of commitment to and investment in the group and what it stands for. Social Identity Theory suggests that being a member of a group is emotionally and psychologically impactful on decision making and behavior at both the individual level and the group level (Buckingham, Frings, & Albery, 2013). Based on this statement, becoming a member of a group of people who are engaging in positive prosocial behaviors that distract from addictive behaviors should in theory impact the client’s decisions of whether or not to engage in the addictive behaviors. This is the premise for groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, which focus on similar people coming together through their sobriety with support and guidance. Groups like these allow the client to focus on creating a new identity of recovery to combat their existing identity that is associated with addiction (Buckingham, Frings, &Albery, 2013). These groups have had a long-standing presence in the field of addiction treatment because membership in them is associated with relationship-forming and supporting individuals who are going through similar trials.
Buckingham, S. A., Frings, D., & Albery, I. P. (2013). Group membership and social identity in addiction recovery. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors,27(4), 1132-1140.