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FMU research looking at addiction therapy

on Tuesday, 26 January 2016. Posted in News, Education, FEATURES

FMU research looking at addiction therapy

Individuals struggling with sobriety could find help through a research program being conducted with psychology students at Francis Marion University. The FMU study is collecting data on the effectiveness of the Positive Approach to Addictions therapy which was developed by Counselor Jim Holder of Florence. Holder is a licensed professional counselor and nationally certified master addictions counselor. He is also an author, consultant and trainer.

His private practice, Positive Intentions LLC, is located in the Innovation Center on North Dargan Street. Holder has worked in the field of addictions for 40 years and in the last year he has presented seminars and training in the UK, Romania and Bangkok, Thailand. Holder is conducting this research program with two FMU students, Molly Harrington and Caitlin Siney, along with recent FMU graduate John Schwartz and Dr. Teresa Herzog, chairman of the FMU psychology department.

Holder said it is common for people in recovery to experience internal conflicts while trying to maintain their sobriety. They may think, “I’ve done well so I deserve a few drinks. Or, boy I’m stressed, just a little alcohol (or drugs) would help take the edge off.” And then an opposing thought might be, “No, I can’t do that to my family. Last time I lost my job.” “A person in recovery can be abstinent and still miserable with negative feelings, be moody, and have cravings,” Holder continued.

“Sobriety and a joyful healthy life is the goal of the therapy.” If you are struggling with maintaining sobriety or may have had a relapse, you may be a candidate for this research. The study includes 12 sessions with Holder, at no charge. There is a pre-interview (short test) at the beginning of the therapy and a follow-up treatment interview three to six months after the therapy with graduate researchers from FMU. The name of the study and the workbook being used is “Sobriety Enhancement.”

Holder is donating his time and offering the counseling at no charge. He said he is delighted to be a part of this research which is looking at the effectiveness of his Positive Approach to Addictions therapy. It is a step in becoming a best practice. “This can be a big help in resolving internal conflicts,” Holder said. “This is not always thoroughly dealt with in all treatment programs.

It can help in dealing with core issues.” The research began in early December, but new participants are still being enrolled. If interested, you may call Jim Holder who will explain the program and see if you fit the criteria for this research. He may be contacted at 843-621-0791 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can learn more about Positive Intentions at

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