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. 115). 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. 117), 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 clients 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 and resentment, and that future study of comparing and contrasting FT with more traditional anger management may continue to reinforce the advantage of therapeutically engaging in root issues rather than simply reinforcing traditional anger management daily coping methods. Critique of the Title From this researchers perspective the overall title is effective and appropriate.
It is sufficiently specific while remaining properly concise. The wording provides a descriptive picture of the contents of the article while remaining under twenty words. The title also properly identifies the type of participants in the study, as well as the variables which are analyzed. The authors remain clear of utilizing jargon and acronyms which might be unknown to the audience (Pyrczak, 2008, p. 20). Pyrczak advises that it is normally unwise for the title of an article to reveal the results of the study (Pyrczak, 2008, p. 16).
The authors of this article prove to be careful to not reveal the ultimate findings, while still causing interest by the use of their description. It is clear that the authors of this article took careful consideration in the formatting of this preliminary descriptor. Critique of the Abstract Overall this abstract is effective and appropriate. It clearly presents the purpose of the article in a clear and concise manner. The authors reveal the foundational underpinnings, the resulting hypothesis as well as the study group utilized for the overall experimentation.
Highlights of the study are provided in the form of mentioning a general overview of the Forgiveness Therapy as well as indicating a favorable outcome linked to the hypothesis. The abstract did not become encumbered with titles of specific measures, except to indicate that there was a 12 week time frame of counseling sessions. While not giving specific statistics, the abstract was clear in concluding that not only were the results of this research positive, but that the authors felt confident to advise that this study substantiated the role of FT as a viable alternative for residential drug treatment.
Critique of the Literature Review Overall, the literature review portion of this article is appropriate as well as informative. The purpose of the article along with the stated hypothesis logically flows from the abstract. For example, while reading the article the specific problem area which the authors are addressing is identified within the first paragraph, and this topic of concern is carried throughout the course of the article.
Not only do the authors identify the problem area, that of levels of anger and violence observed among alcohol and other substance abusers (Lin et al, 2004, p. 114); but they also emphasize the gravity of the situation by providing specifics regarding the correlation between said negative emotions and the inability of addicts to remain sober. This provides the reasoning behind why greater development in this area within therapy needs to be addressed. In so doing the authors were also careful to properly cite sources for factual statements which reinforced their supposition. In so doing, they were careful to not inundate the article with an over abundance of cited material, leaving sufficient room for their own findings.
While drawing out the concerns related to the anger and resentment issues at hand, the authors provide a well developed summary of both the Forgiveness Therapy model as well as the Anger Management Modules. The authors also provided clear and concise definitions of the instruments utilized within the study as well as providing well illustrated table in cooperation with the results of the study, and how those results can be interpreted with each instrument, and how they correlate with each other.
For example not only does the article provide a Topic List for each group, (Lin et al, 2004, p. 1117 Table 1) it also provides a significant breakdown of the Means and Standard Deviation for Dependent Variables related to both study groups (Lin, Table 2, p. 1118). The only area in which this researcher may see the Literature Review as somewhat weak is in the fact that the latest research which is available within the article is from the year 2004, due to the age of the article in question. That being said, however, over all this is a well crafted review.
Critique of Research Questions The hypothesis stated in this article leaves no room for questioning what it specifically entails. After providing a detailed foundation of why FT is a viable alternative in various counseling arenas as opposed to ADC, the authors then clearly state that they hypothesized that individuals in residential treatment for alcohol and drug dependence after receiving treatment augmented by FT, would demonstrate less anger, depression, anxiety and vulnerability to substance use and more self esteem than those receiving ADC treatment¦. Lin et al, 2004, p. 1115). This hypothesis clearly provides not only a reference and a background of a therapy; it also provides specific measurable goals, and goals which can be contrasted by other measurable goals, within and on behalf of a specific demographic.
Each of the specific parts of the hypothesis are logically developed within the literature review, and the developed research proves to be appropriate for the investigation at hand, albeit with specific concerns related to limitations which naturally apply due to the limited nature of the study in regards to amount of participants, limited amount of time for follow up study for the initial research, and some concern over possible biases inherent due to the fact that one therapist facilitated both study groups.