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The Contribution of Clinical Psychologists to Recovery-orientated Drug and Alcohol Treatment Systems

The Contribution of Clinical Psychologists to Recovery-orientated Drug and Alcohol Treatment Systems

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Quick Overview

This document, for service commissioners and service managers, describes the unique contribution of clinical psychologists to effective recovery-orientated drug and alcohol treatment systems. It details clinical psychologists' extensive competences and how these can be deployed to enhance recovery outcomes for service users and their families.



Drug and alcohol treatment services continue to face challenges to service delivery requiring substantial organisational and practice changes. Delivering more ambitious service user outcomes at a time of financial pressures calls for ever greater effectiveness from resources. Other drivers for change and innovation include:

  • incorporating new evidence-based interventions;
  • establishing robust clinical governance;
  • enhancing workforce competences;
  • involving service users more closely in decision making;
  • changes in patterns of substance use over time; and
  • building greater links to community resources.

With this context in mind, this document sets out how clinical psychologists contribute to the contemporary priorities of drug and alcohol treatment services.

1. Introduction

2. Summary

3. Psychosocial interventions: An essential element for recovery from addiction

3.1 Psychosocial and psychological interventions for different treatment groups

4. Current policy context

5. The changing landscape of drug and alcohol treatment: How clinical psychologists help

5.1 Outcomes and funding

5.2 Effective treatment

5.3 Service and workforce development

5.4 Changing nature of substance use problems

6. Roles of clinical psychologists in recovery-orientated drug and alcohol treatment systems

6.1 Leadership competences

6.1.1 An 'inspirational recovery-orientated workforce'

6.1.2 Clinical governance

6.1.3 Cost-effective recovery outcomes

6.1.4 Examples of clinical psychologists' practitioner roles

6.2 Practitioner competences

6.2.1 Examples of clinical psychologists' practitioner roles

6.3 Effectiveness competences

6.3.1 Examples of clinical psychologists' effectiveness roles

6.4 Competences of clinical psychologists and recovery domains

7. The profession of clinical psychology

7.1 What training do clinical psychologists have?

7.1.2 Summary of different grades of clinical psychologists

8. Reference

Additional Information