Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Dennis Simpson

Third Advisor

Dr. Edward Trembley


The inspiration for undertaking the current research came from the Student Investigator’s own experience of 19 years in recovery from alcoholism. During his early years in graduate school, the Student Investigator witnessed occasional misunderstandings among some academics and helping professionals regarding the nature of alcoholism, and, specifically, the tasks involved in sustaining enduring recovery from alcoholism. Thus, this dissertation research, which has sought to examine, through qualitative research methodology, the factors involved in achieving and sustaining quality of life in extended recovery from alcoholism was undertaken.

Several authors have noted the need for research which focuses on long-term recovery from alcoholism (Amodeo, Kurtz, & Kutter, 1992; Cary, 1999). A literature review revealed virtually no research which deals exclusively with quality of life in long-term recovery from alcoholism. A number of areas of existing alcoholism research were examined, however, which touch upon topics relevant to quality recovery; these included the “dry drunk syndrome” and relapse, spirituality, and the roles of therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the current research, phenomenologically-based qualitative methodology (Moustakas, 1994) was used. Eight participants were chosen from among male and female members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Each participant had at least 10 years of continuous sobriety. Each participant was interviewed twice; interviews were taperecorded. A semi-structured interview format was employed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access