UBC Theses and Dissertations
"Like an awakening" : transformative learning as identity transformation for men in recovery from addictions Jordan, Daniel James
The purpose of this study was to examine the self-reported learning and transformation of men recovering from substance addiction who had attended a residential treatment centre in British Columbia (BC). Untreated addiction stems from and causes unacceptable levels of human misery and incurs serious social and economic costs. Treatment is a key strategy for lowering the costs associated with addiction. The thesis brings together transformative learning theory with theories of transformation from the recovery field to focus on identity transformation. It employed a narrative inquiry methodology due to its emphasis on subjective experiences of transformation. Data collected from a convenience sample of seven adult men were recorded, transcribed, and coded for themes. The study sought to answer three research questions: (1) What are some of the processes involved in personal transformation as reported by men recovering from addiction? (2) What are the contextual factors that facilitate, delay, or inhibit personal transformation as reported by these men in the context of residential addiction treatment? (3) How do the lives of these men, and their sense of identity as men, change as a result of their self-reported learning? The study concluded that (a) participants’ personal transformations involved rational and extrarational processes; (b) such transformations were facilitated by having a safe, private, and peaceful environment to engage in self-reflection and the presence of other men with whom they could relate and engage in meaningful conversation; and (c) participants’ identity transformations resulted in lifestyle changes—more meaningful relationships and work, helping others, and improved self-care—as well as positive changes in how they related to themselves, others, and the world. Study results have important implications for transformative learning theory and programs designed for men as adult learners situated in residential addiction treatment settings.
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