Trauma, drug misuse and transforming identities: a life story approach
Press release issued: 2 October 2007
A new book that offers insights into addiction and how it can be tackled, by looking at the life stories of ex-drug misusers in their own words, is published today.
Examining the links between early childhood experiences and drug misuse and also showing ways to recover and change. The book, Trauma, drug misuse and transforming identities: a life story approach by Kim Etherington, Professor of Narrative and Life Story Research at Bristol University’s Graduate School of Education, highlights the therapeutic value of listening to drug misusers’ life stories and the importance of understanding how social environments and the wider cultural influences shape people’s lives.
The book encourages people working with drug misusers to challenge their views of ‘spoiled identity’, which assume that identity cannot be changed.
Professor Etherington, commenting on the book, said: “By taking a step back and separating the person from the problem, it is possible to help them explore their relationship with drugs in ways that encourage a stronger sense of agency and power to change.”
With first-hand narratives and practical strategies to encourage drug misusers’ ability to recover, the book is aimed at professionals working with drug users as well as people misusing drugs themselves.
The book was commissioned by the Southmead Project, a community drugs project in Bristol, which provides free counselling for abuse and trauma survivors, together with methadone-substitution programmes for drug users and other services.
Trauma, drug misuse and transforming identities: a life story approach by Kim Etherington, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, is available in paperback, ISBN: 9781843104933, 240pp, priced at £19.99.
Further informationKim Etherington is a Professor of Narrative and Life Story Research in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol and a private counselling and supervision practitioner. For 12 years she has been supporting people who work with drug misusers in the Southmead Drugs project, a community-based project in a deprived area of Bristol. The project was awarded the Queens medal in 2004.
All royalties earned from the book will be paid to The Southmead Project, Bristol.
Foreword by Monty Don, The Monty Project, UK. Prologue - Hannah's story.
Part one - setting the scene 1. Introduction. 2. Trauma, drug misuse and identity transformation.
Part two - the stories 3. Omar's story - part one. 4. Omar's story - part two. 5. Becky's story. 6. Steven's story. 7. Josie's story. 8. George's story. 9. John's story. 10. Levi's story.
Part three - thinking with the stories 11. Impact of trauma on selves and relationships. 12. Problematic drug use and turning points. 13. Transforming identities. References. Subject index. Author index.