I am an MSc student at the University of Bath studying Applied Forensic Psychology with Counselling. This is my first experience in mental health services and I currently work at Bristol Specialist Drug and Alcohol Services as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist, working with service users with complex mental health and substance use needs. I have particular interest in working with trauma and exploring short-term interventions to develop stability and provide opportunity for further treatment. For future work, I hope to have the chance to gain experience and knowledge in a variety of fields.
Moving on After Trauma group intervention for substance use service users
Aims This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the Moving on After Trauma (MOAT) as a group intervention for substance use service users.
Design This is a repeated measures design, though some qualitative data will be obtained.
Setting This is a community intervention, taking place in person.
Participants Individuals with varying type and frequency of experienced trauma were allocated to mixed gender groups. Participants had a range of historic substance use and were not required to be abstinent.
Intervention The MOAT intervention fits into phase one of the trauma treatment pathway, focusing on normalisation, psychoeducation and providing distress management skills. This intervention is appropriate due to the prevalence of traumatic experiences in individuals with problematic substance use. This group format of MOAT was adapted into four two-hour weekly sessions, with discussion encouraged.
Measurements The International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ) and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) were used to assess impact of trauma before the first session and levels of dissociation. Findings and conclusions Participants are expected to score significantly lower on both the ITQ and DES, and qualitative feedback will be obtained during the one-to-one interview upon completion of the intervention. Due to the sensitive nature of the content and typical characteristics of the client group, difficulties with dropout and engagement were predicted, but implications from observing the group will be discussed. Any feedback or observed changes will provide guidance for co-facilitators and future rounds of MOAT, and will help shape invitation to and delivery of the group intervention.