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How Treatment Programs Use Assimilation Theory

At 16 years of age, Tony was arrested for a DUI as well as marijuana possession. His case was assessed and he was taken to juvenile detention.

According to his juvenile justice probation officer, Tony has mentioned that drinking and marijuana wasn't a big deal and his parents partook in similar activities regularly. This made the juvenile probation officer understand that Tony's misdemeanor wasn't a singular occurrence and that it might stem from an unhealthy home environment. The courts opted to put Tony into a treatment program on this evidence.

Using the Internet, research the following addiction recovery programs:
Rational Recovery

Relate the techniques of the programs Assimilation Theory by Ausubel.

How do program techniques from the 3 listed treatment programs relate to your selected theory? Explain.

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Assimilation theory's main points:
- New learning is based upon (must be based upon) already extant learning. Concepts can be introduced only in reference to existing concepts.
- Knowledge must be meaningful, i.e. it must be motivated in the same sense that Tolman's knowledge must be. It is not "rote" learning, but is based on already proven aptitudes.
- Learning must be related to (and expressed in reference to) previous experiences that led to any sort of understanding.
- There must be a commitment to the subject matter. This makes learning easier, introduces motivation, and increases the time in which it is retained. Since this learning will be used soon to assimilate new material, chances are you'll never forget it. It is never inert.

Put simply, the learner has to make a choice to approach a specific subject matter. When information is expressed in the idiom of the subject matter (e.g. mathematical language is different from sociological terminology), learning becomes easier because much of the "heavy lifting" has already been done. Learning must have a certain continuity that we express as "fields" with a technical vocabulary (metaphysics, mathematics, theology, Bulgarian history, etc).

Concept maps just take the above idea and make it more explicit. They will graphically show where the new concepts overlap with the older ones. Great overlap is repetition; a small amount of overlap might not have enough in common with previous knowledge to be retained or grasped. Hence, there must be a basic medium. I think this medium is language and method.

For AA:

There is much assimilationist here. First, it is all based on your desire to stop drinking. Without your commitment, everything else is useless. It's not magic. Here are the main points:
- Single purpose: recovery. All else is secondary. AA has no "opinion" on outside issues. Nothing can divide the membership: all is recovery and absolutely nothing else.
- No bureaucracy: all must come from one source, the desire of members to stop suffering though addiction to alcohol.
- Since anonymity is essential, the fear of being "outed" can never cloud our judgment or worry us in any way. Such worries are distracting.
- We already know our problems: the knowledge is always present. It is a matter of will. Hence, we're not talking about "learning" as such, but the admission that we know what we know and the desire to act on it. We know we're in trouble, we know we have no control. It's just difficult to admit it. Hence, we already know the material, it is based on our commitment that it ...

Solution Summary

The expert determines how treatment programs are used to assimilation theory.