Recovery from substance use disorders can be an arduous, lengthy process, yet there exist few interventions specifically designed to make recovery more reinforcing. This single-group mixed-methods study describes the development, feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a novel journaling intervention that combines aspects of positive psychology and behavioral activation to make recovery more reinforcing. We taught the journaling to women in residential treatment for substance use disorders during eight group sessions, after which participants journaled independently for 2 weeks. The journaling practice was found to be feasible and acceptable. Quantitative data showed improvement in a range of well-being, recovery, and mental health–related factors. Qualitative data showed that the intervention helped participants to recognize what was positive about recovery, to achieve meaningful short-term goals, and to experience a sense of optimism and pride in their accomplishments.
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- addiction recovery
- alcohol use disorders
- behavioral activation
- expressive writing
- maintenance of behavior change
- Positive psychology
- reinforcement theory
- substance use disorders