Asked 26th Feb, 2014

Does anyone have any suggestions for research papers on recovery from drug addiction utilising qualitative research methods, specifically IPA?

I am currently writing amendments on my doctorate thesis which investigates the personal life experience of drug users in recovery utilising Interpretative phenomenological analysis and I am looking for empirical data that I could compare/contrast my outcome to.

Most recent answer

16th Nov, 2016
Andrew Mitchell
London South Bank University
Hi Toni no  I have not read this, I will look into this right now, thanks for your answer, I am sorry i did not reply earlier but i did not get a notification about your posting

All Answers (16)

28th Feb, 2014
Daniela Bloom
The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Thank you so much Ruvanee, much appreciated, my external examiner was (is) actually Jonathan Smith and he urged me to use and incorporate his papers, but I have been having trouble to get full papers, especially the last one you recommended..I will check if I can find the others, thank you so much!!
3rd Mar, 2014
Ann Kerlin
Luther Rice College & Seminary
I used IPA to explore changes in recovery in residential rehab for women with childhood sexual abuse and substance abuse issues. I did this with my dissertation, which is available if this link opens for you:
1 Recommendation
21st Mar, 2014
Daniela Bloom
The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Oh, excellent Ann, many thanks for this, I only just saw this, so will have a read through, sounds very interesting!
thank you!
6th May, 2014
Ryan Blackstock
Michigan School of Professional Psychology
I went to our library and located a Phenomenological Thesis titled "Sobriety: a thirst for life" by Joseph Sabouren. I think it was from 1987. This would be using a Transcendental Phenomenological Research model ( Clark Moustakas). If this interests you, you could probably get it via InterLibrary Loan. We are located at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology.
6th May, 2014
Ryan Blackstock
Michigan School of Professional Psychology
I also located at least one that utilized the Heuristic Research Model (also by Moustakas), but was not sure if that fit what you were looking for.
6th May, 2014
Daniela Bloom
The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Thank you so much Ryan, much appreciated! I actually read a few books by Clark Moustakas, he wrote quite a bit on loneliness..seems also fitting to recovery and addiction- I will have a look, thanks so much!
6th May, 2014
Ryan Blackstock
Michigan School of Professional Psychology
I was a student of Clark, and he left a profound impact on me, not only as clinician, scholar, teacher, but as a very actualized humble human being. I'm glad you have experienced his work.
18th Dec, 2014
Randall Webber
East-West University (USA)
I don't know if you're still seeking literature, but these two have been published in the last month or so. They are both attached:
Flaherty, MT, Kurtz, E, White, WL & Larson, A (2014). An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of Secular, Spiritual, and Religious Pathways of Long-Term Addiction Recovery. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 32:4, 337-356
Kaskutas, LE, Borkman, TJ, Laudet, A, Ritter, LA, et. Al. (2014). Elements that define recovery: The experiential perspective. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75: 999-1010.
Bill (William) White has a wealth of publications you might want to look at:
21st Dec, 2014
Daniela Bloom
The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Thank you so much for that Randall, that was incredibly helpful!
20th Oct, 2016
Andrew Mitchell
London South Bank University
hi there check out my references on my project
1 Recommendation
20th Oct, 2016
Ann Kerlin
Luther Rice College & Seminary
I actually did my dissertation on the same population using IPA, but they were females in Christian residential drug treatment and had a history of sexual abuse. You can access my  dissertation through a library link...
An Exploratory Study of Recovery and Recovery Maintenance for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Who Completed Faith-Based Residential Treatment \
Ann Marie Kerlin
Publication date
Liberty University
Abstract This interpretive phenomenological analysis of the experience of recovery and recovery maintenance for women with a history of childhood sexual abuse and its sequelae included interviews and a non-standard questionnaire. Ten women with this history who had completed a faith based treatment program for substance abuse and/or eating disorders described recovery. Themes that emerged related to the process of change included: Changes in Relationships with Others, to Self, to God, and lastly, Forgiveness as a ..
1 Recommendation
26th Oct, 2016
Andrew Mitchell
London South Bank University
Hey Ann I just had a look around your dissertation and the bits I have read are very easy to follow and reads very well, I am still at very early stages of getting my research together, and it is only at an MSc level. Thanks so much for your reply :-)
28th Oct, 2016
Daniela Bloom
The New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Hi both Andrew and Ann, much appreciated and very interesting- I actually completed this project, just finalising the big version before I will upload the abstract, so your help has been appreciated, now on to the next!
best wishes and good luck on the MSc Andrew!
5th Nov, 2016
Toni Margaret Fox
University of Leicester
Have you read 'What influences a person's decision to stop using drugs? p184Introducing qualitative research by Carla Willig 3rd edition open university press
1 Recommendation

Similar questions and discussions

Are you a good reviewer?
12 answers
  • P. Grima GallardoP. Grima Gallardo
I want to share a reflexion from the team Publons Academy about some tips to be a good reviewer. Are you in agree with these tips?
Review a manuscript like a pro: 6 tips from a Publons Academy supervisor
03 April 2018 on Peer Review, Peer review tips, Manuscript review, Publons Academy, Paul Wong
Peer review getting you down? Have you been asked to review and don't know where to start? Or have you tentatively submitted a few reviews and never been quite sure if you're doing it "right"?
That's okay: there are tips you can learn to make the process easier and more robust--for you, the authors, and the editor.
Last month we shared five peer review tips and the story behind them from a Publons Academy graduate, Edmond Sanganyado. This month, our reviewing tips come from Publons Academy supervisor, Dr. Paul Wong.
Paul is the Professor Emeritus of Trent University and Adjunct Professor at Saybrook University. He is the Editor of the International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, and recently supported PhD candidate, Lilian Jans-Beken through the Publons Academy.
See what Paul believes makes an excellent reviewer, and if you're interested in improving your writing and learning the core competencies of peer review, check out our free and on-demand Publons Academy.
1. Have the Necessary Expertise
Do not review manuscripts beyond your scope of competency. Journals are more likely to publish papers with serious errors or deficiencies if their manuscripts have not gone through rigorous review by reviewers with the necessary expertise. Such problems may even occur in American Psychologist, the flagship of the American Psychological Association. Here are two cases: one involving the critical positivity ratio (Brown, Sokal, & Friedman, 2013, 2014) and another related to the existential issue of meaning in life (Brown & Wong, 2015). How these critical reviews ever got published are a story worth telling, because they could have been buried without vigorous protest against review bias.
2. Show Some Respect
Reviewers should show some respect by at least reading over each manuscript. Some manuscripts represent the cultivation of several years of research and deserve a couple of hours of reviewers’ time. I have personally seen reviewers rejecting manuscripts simply by reading the first paragraph. One of my own papers, the Death Attitude Profile (Gesser, Wong, & Reker, 1987-1988) was rejected because “there are already too many instruments measuring death anxiety,” even though this was the first paper providing a comprehensive measure of three kinds of death acceptance. Clearly, neither the reviewer nor the editor had taken time to read my paper. That is why I urge all my mentees to summarize what each manuscript is all about, thus indicating that they have read and understood the content of the manuscript.
3. Be Fair to All Manuscripts
It is difficult to be fair in your treatment of all manuscripts, because we all have our likes and dislikes, and no one is above biases. In order to guard against any review bias, one should openly acknowledge and suspend one’s bias for or against certain research at the beginning of a review. Such “bracketing” practice should improve objectivity in judgment. In this regard, one should also refrain from reviewing a manuscript, if there is a clear conflict of interest which may jeopardize one’s critical judgment, such as being a collaborator in some prior research.
Secondly, one should apply the same criterion to evaluate all papers for the higher purpose of safeguarding the integrity of science. One should especially guard against “halo effects;” one should not let the reputation of the author or the prestige of the author’s affiliation dull one’s ability for critical thinking and vigorous assessment.
📷 Photo courtesy of Dr. Paul Wong (above).
4. Be Constructive
It is very difficult to be constructive, especially when the editor instructs reviewers to be very strict because the journal has a very high rejection rate, sometimes as high as 80%. Under such circumstances, reviewers automatically focus on “fault finding” in order to support a recommendation of “rejection.” Such negativity bias is not a healthy practice, because it tends to favor the established elite researchers and discriminate against beginners who do not have a track record in publications. I propose that a reviewer should do the honest job of taking a constructive approach to review and let the editor tackle the problem of maintaining a high rejection rate.
Being constructive means that one looks for both the strengths and weaknesses of each manuscript. Even in the case of recommending rejection because of fatal flaws, provide logical and empirical justification for the criticism so that the authors can improve their research. From this perspective, it takes much less time to accept a manuscript than to reject one, as illustrated in this review, “How to Measure Existential Meaning” (Wong, 2017).
5. Be Inclusive and Balanced
Most authors suffer from the bias of “tribalism.” This practice is revealed in several ways. The most common form of tribalism is to ignore the findings or theories that may question their pet views. The second common practice is that within any domain of research, they only cite the work of their circle of associates or friends, and ignore “outsiders,” even when the most cited work comes from the latter.
Such intentional citation amnesia is neither scholarly nor ethical, because it ignores important publications that are germane to the topic under investigation. A knowledgeable reviewer should be able to call out such omissions, so that the manuscript can become more inclusive and balanced in its literature review and discussion.
6. Do Not be Afraid of Reprisal
Many reviewers, especially young researchers, do not want to offend “big names” because of fear of reprisal. A renowned psychologist once said to me, “I will make sure that this guy will never have another publication,” after bitterly complaining about a paper critical of his theory. I myself have suffered the consequence of daring to write a critical review of a book authored by a prominent psychologist. Over the years, I have witnessed editors who refused to publish any paper critical of an influential theory or author.
The blind review system provides some cover to a reviewer’s anonymity, but not the editor’s identity. In order to protect the integrity of the peer review, both editors and reviewers need to have the courage to do the right thing for the sake of justice and science, even if it involves the possibility of reprisal.
Ideally, a good reviewer serves two functions. Firstly, one serves the professional function of screening out what is not up to standard and improving what is acceptable. Secondly, one serves the humanistic function of contributing to fairness or justice in the distribution of research funding and publication space.
Being an established author does not automatically make one a good editor or peer reviewer; training is needed to develop competent and objective reviewers. I am so pleased the Publons Academy has taken up the challenge to train master reviewers.
Paul's tips have been republished from his website.
If you’re interested in learning more about peer review sign up for our Publons Academy. This is a free on-demand course that teaches you how to master the core competencies of peer reviewing, and to connect with editors at elite journals.
Brown, N. J. L., Sokal, A. D., & Friedman, H. L. (2013). The complex dynamics of wishful thinking: The critical positivity ratio. American Psychologist, 68(9), 801-813. doi:10.1037/a0032850
Brown, N. J. L., Sokal, A. D., & Friedman, H. L. (2014). Positive psychology and romantic scientism. American Psychologist, 69(6), 636-637. doi:10.1037/a0037390
Brown, N. J. L., & Wong, P. T. P. (2015). Questionable measures are pretty meaningless. American Psychologist, 70(6), 571-573. doi:10.1037/a0039308
Gesser, G., Wong, P. T. P., & Reker, G. T. (1987-88). Death attitudes across the life span. The development and validation of the Death Attitude Profile (DAP). Omega, 2, 113-128.
Wong, P. T. P. (2017). How to measure existential meaning. Paul T. P. Wong. Retrieved from
Wong, P. T. P. (2017). How to write a good manuscript review. Dr. Paul T. P. Wong. Retrieved from
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