Meaning-Making, Religiousness and Spirituality in Religiously Founded Substance Misuse Services—A Qualitative Study of Staff and Patients’ Experiences
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSørensen, T., Lien, L., Landheim, A. & Danbolt, L.J. (2015). Meaning-Making, Religiousness and Spirituality in Religiously Founded Substance Misuse Services—A Qualitative Study of Staff and Patients’ Experiences. Religions, 6, 92-106. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel6010092 http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rel6010092
The Norwegian health authorities buy one third of their addiction treatment from private institutions run by organizations and trusts. Several of these are founded on religious values. The aim of the study was to investigate such value-based treatment and the patients’ experiences of spirituality and religiousness as factors of meaning-making in rehabilitation. The study was performed in an explorative qualitative design. Data were collected through focus-group interviews among therapists and in-patients at a religiously founded substance misuse service institution. The analysis was carried out by content analysis through systematic text-condensation. Through different activities and a basic attitude founded on religious values, the selected institution and the therapists facilitated a treatment framework which included a spiritual dimension and religious activity. The patients appreciated their free choice regarding treatment approaches, which helped them to make meaning of life in various collective and individual settings. Rituals and sacred spaces gave peace of mind and confidence in a situation that up to now had been chaotic and difficult. Sermons and wording in rituals contributed to themes of reflection and helped patients to revise attitudes and how other people were met. Private confessions functioned for several patients as turning point experiences influencing patients’ relations to themselves and their surroundings. Spirituality and religious activity contributed to meaning-making among patients with substance use disorder and had significance for their rehabilitation.