A Critique of the Lin Article

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Lin Article Critique: Part 1
Title and Introduction
Bonnie J Thomas-Willey
Liberty University
Coun 503-D10 LUO
Research and Program Evaluation 
Lin Article Critique: Part 1 Title and Introduction
Summary
Lin, Mack, Enright, and Baskin (2004) state that prior to the writing of this article anger and related emotions have already been associated as triggers within the realm of substance abuse. As way of illustration the authors cite the Project Match 12-step facilitation therapy manual which states that “Anger and resentment are pivotal emotions for most recovering alcoholics” (Nowinski, Baker, & Carroll, as found in Lin et al, 2004, p. 1114). The traditional therapeutic method of choice within treatment settings has been that of anger management. The focus of this form of treatment is in establishing surface level coping mechanisms by “attempting to teach patients to more effectively manage or express anger rather than actually decrease their anger” (Dakken et al, 1995 as found in Lin et al, 2004 p. 1114). The authors present that there is insufficient documentation related to the efficacy of this approach. An alternative approach has been developed by a number of researchers titled Forgiveness Therapy (FT). FT states that while anger, resentment and other accompanying related emotions are correct responses to severe violations, harmful results are attributed to the same on a daily basis. The therapeutic goal, therefore, is in assisting the client in working towards educating the client regarding healthy forgiveness as a choice. The authors advise that “Robust results have been found when FT has been applied to certain populations” and “has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of anger, anxiety and depression rather than simply improving individuals’ ability to cope with these emotions” (Lin et al, 2004, p. 1115). Lin et al, (2004) chose support for the validity of FT by presenting the hypothesis that inpatient clients for substance abuse treatment who received FT would demonstrate “less anger, depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to substance abuse” than similar clients who received traditional anger management treatment. Subjects were randomly chosen within a treatment center to receive either FT or Alcohol and Drug Counseling (ADC) treatment from a group of suggested participants. All were diagnosed as substance abusers. Each participated in four instruments: The EFI, which is a sixty item self-report measure of self forgiveness, the BD1-11, which measures symptoms related to depression, the CSE1 which evaluates attitudes towards self, and STAI which assesses anxiety. Each participant also became involved in a 12 week program, either within the FT procedure or the ADC procedure. The ending result verified the original hypothesis for the researchers in that the FT group “demonstrated significantly greater improvement from pretest to posttest” (Lin et al, 2004, p. 1117), as well as a marked difference in retention of improvements between the two therapeutic groups after four weeks apart from the therapy sessions. The authors did present five cautions. The first was the lack of being able to generalize the findings of the study due to the size of the testing. The second is the degree to which resentments are the norm within client’s treatment histories. The third caution is related to the need for the client to persevere within the therapy due to the length and depth of the therapy involved. The fourth caution is related to providing time for follow up data beyond the initial four month time frame which was provided for the purposes of this study. The fifth caution is that there may have possibly been some unforeseen effects by the therapist involved within the experiment since only one therapist conducted therapy for both groups. The authors summarize their findings by stating that chemical dependency issues may be linked to or are a result of unresolved negative emotional issues such as anger...
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