Books about Addiction
Patt Denning, PhD, Jeannie Little, LCSW, & Adina Glickman, LCSW
Twelve-step programs that insist on abstinence are beneficial to many–but what about the millions of Americans who try to quit and fail, just want to cut down, or wish to work toward sobriety gradually? This groundbreaking book presents the Harm Reduction approach, a powerful alternative to traditional treatment that helps users set and meet their own goals for gaining control over drinking and drugs. The expert, empathic authors guide readers to figure out which aspects of their own habits may be harmful, what they would like to change, and how to put their intentions into action while also dealing with problems that stand in the way, such as depression, stress, and relationship conflicts. Based on solid science and 40+ years of combined clinical experience, the book is packed with self-discovery tools, fact sheets, and personal accounts. It puts the reader in the driver’s seat with a new and empowering roadmap for change.
Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L.
At some point in our lives, we all engage in behaviors that are risky, irrational, or unwise. We might find it exciting and temporarily rewarding to gamble on the lottery or impulsively buy an expensive gadget. But just as substances like alcohol and narcotics have the potential to become addictive, so do certain behaviors. A person addicted to gambling, shopping, the internet, food, or picking at their skin may suffer shame in the shadows while their behavior consumes time and energy and disrupts their life. Some people with behavioral addictions lose their family, job, savings, and home. With a physical basis in the brain, behavioral addictions are serious illnesses―but simply willing yourself to stop is usually not enough.
Why Can’t I Stop? is for anyone who has a behavioral addiction, as well as their supportive families and friends. Examining seven of the most common and serious addictions―gambling, sex, stealing, internet use, shopping and buying, hair pulling and skin picking, and food―the authors bring together cutting-edge research to describe behavioral addiction, its causes, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.
Featuring patient stories of behavioral addiction and recovery, as well as information about treatment centers, this compassionate guide will help readers better understand the complicated issues surrounding these addictions and teach family members how to help the addicted person while helping themselves.
Frederick Rotgers, PhD, Marc F. Kern, PhD, & Rudy Hoeltzel
This book offers a real alternative to the 32 million Americans who are problem drinkers.
Based on extensive scientific literature supporting moderation as a resolution for drinking problems, Responsible Drinking is the only book with research-based techniques that will help non-alcoholic readers overcome their drinking problems. This revolutionary workbook by the leading voices of the Moderation Management treatment approach starts by providing readers with definitive tools to help them discover whether they are problem drinkers or alcoholics. Readers whose problems are less severe than alcohol dependence are then helped to make an informed decision about whether to pursue moderation or to turn to abstinence.
For readers who identify themselves as problem drinkers, the workbook goes on to help them then learn to moderate their drinking and develop a healthier lifestyle. By adopting goals specific to their needs, readers make a commitment, examine the negative effects of alcohol use, identify their own triggers, and learn to take control of their behavior. Inspirational words of more than fifty individuals who have faced and overcome the same problems offer guidance and support. Resources are also provided to help any reader who chooses to pursue abstinence as an objective at any stage of the program.
William R. Miller, PhD & Ricardo Muñoz, PhD
Interested in cutting down on your drinking without giving it up altogether? This encouraging, science-based book can help make that goal a reality. Distinguished clinician-researchers William R. Miller and Ricardo F. Muñoz have spent more than 40 years studying whether moderation works, who it works (and doesn’t work) for, and how to achieve it. They give you tools to evaluate your alcohol consumption, decide what changes you want to make, and create a doable plan of action. Learn new ways to enjoy social events, defuse tension and stress, and cope with difficult emotions–with or without a glass in hand. The updated second edition incorporates the latest scientific data and features a new chapter on mindfulness. Helpful forms and worksheets can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8 1/2″ x 11″ size.
A bestseller in its three previous editions, Buzzed is now revised and updated with the most recent discoveries about drugs. It includes new information about biological and behavioral changes in addiction, the prescription-drug abuse epidemic, distinctive drug effects on the adolescent brain, and trends from synthetic cannabinoids to e-cigarettes. “Lively, highly informative, unbiased, [and] thorough” (Addiction Research & Theory), this no-nonsense handbook surveys the most used and abused drugs from caffeine to heroin to methamphetamine. In both quick-reference summaries and in-depth analysis, it reports on how these drugs enter the body, how they manipulate the brain, their short-term and long-term effects, the different “highs” they produce, and the circumstances in which they can be deadly. Neither a “just say no” treatise nor a “how-to” manual, Buzzed is based on the conviction that people make better decisions with accurate information in hand.
Harm reduction is the single most effective approach to drug and alcohol problems because harm reduction uses pragmatic, evidence-based strategies that work. This book is the first comprehensive compilation of harm reduction strategies aimed specifically at people who drink alcohol. Whether your goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting alcohol altogether, this is the book for you. It contains a large and detailed selection of harm reduction tools and strategies which you can choose from to build your own individualized alcohol harm reduction program. There are many practical exercises to help people change their behaviors, including risk-ranking worksheets, drinking charts, goal choice worksheets, and many more. There are also innumerable practical tips from folks who “have been there” and have turned their drinking habits around for the better. This book exemplifies the harm reduction principles of “meeting people where they are at” and encouraging people to change in ways which they choose for themselves. This book can either be used as a self-help manual for people working on their own or by people who are participating in a harm reduction support group. BETTER IS BETTER!!
Michael Pond & Maureen Palmer
Psychotherapist Michael Pond is no stranger to the devastating consequences of alcoholism. He has helped hundreds of people conquer their addictions, but this knowledge did not prevent his own near-demise. In this riveting memoir, he recounts how he lost his practice, his home, and his family—all because of his drinking. After scores of visits to the ER, a tour of hellish recovery homes, a stint in intensive care for end-stage alcoholism, and jail, Pond devised his own personal plan for recovery. He met Maureen Palmer and together they investigated scientific alternatives to the rigid abstinence doctrine pushed by 12-Step programs.
Gabor Maté, MD
Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical “condition” distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts argues persuasively against contemporary health, social, and criminal justice policies toward addiction and those impacted by it. The mix of personal stories—including the author’s candid discussion of his own “high-status” addictive tendencies—and science with positive solutions makes the book equally useful for lay readers and professionals.
Books on Trauma
Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
Steven Farmer, MA, MFCC
A history of a childhood abuse is not a life sentence. Here is hope, healing, and a chance to recover the self lost in childhood. Drawing on his extensive work with Adult Children, and on his own experience as a survivor of emotional neglect, therapist Steven Farmer demonstrates that through exercises and journal work, his program can help lead you through grieving your lost childhood, to become your own parent, and integrate the healing aspects of spiritual, physical, and emotional recovery into your adult life.
Peter A. Levine, PhD
Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.
Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.
Peter A. Levine, PhD
In this culmination of his life’s work, Peter A. Levine draws on his broad experience as a clinician, a student of comparative brain research, a stress scientist and a keen observer of the naturalistic animal world to explain the nature and transformation of trauma in the body, brain and psyche. In an Unspoken Voice is based on the idea that trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but rather an injury caused by fright, helplessness and loss that can be healed by engaging our innate capacity to self-regulate high states of arousal and intense emotions. Enriched with a coherent theoretical framework and compelling case examples, the book elegantly blends the latest findings in biology, neuroscience and body-oriented psychotherapy to show that when we bring together animal instinct and reason, we can become more whole human beings.
Kimberlee Roth & Freda B. Friedman, PhD, LCSW
Surviving a Borderline Parent is the first step-by-step guide for adult children of parents with borderline personality disorder.
Between 6 and 10 million people in the US suffer from borderline personality disorder. This book teaches adult children how to overcome the devastating effects of growing up with a parent who suffers from BPD.
Although relatively common, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is often overlooked or misdiagnosed by therapists and clinicians and denied by those who suffer from it.
Symptoms of this problem include unpredictability, violence and uncontrollable anger, deep depression and self-abuse. Parents with BPD are often unable to provide for the basic physical and emotional needs of their children. In an ironic and painful role reversal, BPD parents can actually raise children to be their caretakers. They may burden even very young children with adult responsibilities.
If you were raised by a BPD parent, your childhood was a volatile and painful time. This book, the first written specifically for children of borderline parents, offers step-by-step guidance to understanding and overcoming the lasting effects of being raised by a person suffering from this disorder. Discover specific coping strategies for dealing with issues common to children of borderline parents: low self-esteem, lack of trust, guilt, and hypersensitivity. Make the major decision whether to confront your parent about his or her condition.
G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Mary E. Larimer, PhD, & Katie Witkiewitz, PhD
From addictions treatment pioneer G. Alan Marlatt and associates, this is the authoritative work on harm reduction: its principles, strategies, and practical applications. Contributors review programs that have been developed and tested for a range of high-risk behaviors, including problem drinking, tobacco use, illicit drug use, and risky sexual behavior. Flexible, tailored, culturally competent treatment approaches are described for marginalized and underserved communities. The volume also explores philosophical and policy-related debates surrounding this growing movement.
Patt Denning, PhD & Jeannie Little, LCSW
This acclaimed clinical guide, now substantially revised and updated, has helped thousands of clinicians put the proven principles of harm reduction into practice with therapy clients who have substance use problems. Written by pioneers in the field, the book shows how to do effective therapeutic work with people still using alcohol or other drugs. It provides clear guidelines for conducting comprehensive assessments, making collaborative treatment decisions, and implementing interventions that combine motivational, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic strategies. The focus is reducing drug-related harm while also addressing co-occurring psychological and emotional difficulties. Detailed clinical illustrations are featured throughout.
Andrew Tatarsky, PhD
This ground-breaking volume provides readers with both an overview of harm reduction therapy and a series of ten case studies, treated by different therapists, that vividly illustrate this treatment approach with a wide variety of clients.
Harm reduction is a framework for helping drug and alcohol users who cannot or will not stop completely―the majority of users―reduce the harmful consequences of use. Harm reduction accepts that abstinence may be the best outcome for many but relaxes the emphasis on abstinence as the only acceptable goal and criterion of success. Instead, smaller incremental changes in the direction of reduced harmfulness of drug use are accepted. This book will show how these simple changes in emphasis and expectation have dramatic implications for improving the effectiveness of psychotherapy in many ways.
Laurence Heller, PhD & Aline LaPierre, PsyD
Written for those working to heal developmental trauma and seeking new tools for self-awareness and growth, this book focuses on conflicts surrounding the capacity for connection. Explaining that an impaired capacity for connection to self and to others and the ensuing diminished aliveness are the hidden dimensions that underlie most psychological and many physiological problems, clinicians Laurence Heller and Aline LaPierre introduce the NeuroAffective Relational Model® (NARM), a unified approach to developmental, attachment, and shock trauma that, while not ignoring a person’s past, emphasizes working in the present moment. NARM is a somatically based psychotherapy that helps bring into awareness the parts of self that are disorganized and dysfunctional without making the regressed, dysfunctional elements the primary theme of the therapy. It emphasizes a person’s strengths, capacities, resources, and resiliency and is a powerful tool for working with both nervous system regulation and distortions of identity such as low self-esteem, shame, and chronic self-judgment.
Henry Krystal, MD
In “Integration and Self-Healing: Affect, Trauma, Alexithymia,” his magnum opus, Henry Krystal offers comprehensive reassessments of “affect” and “trauma” en route to a far-reaching reconsideration of alexithymia, which he understands as a major post-traumatic sequel and simultaneously as an affect regression and/or arrest in the genetic development of affect. The first of the three parts of this book brings an information-processing perspective to bear on the problem of affects; here Krystal explores the nature, and various ramifications, of the cognitive, expressive, hedonic, and activating aspects of emotions. Part II reviews the history of psychoanalytic views of psychic trauma, establishing the centrality of the concept of psychic reality to the psychoanalytic understanding of trauma; as a consequence of this focus, various ways of dealing therapeutically with overwhelming experiences become possible. In the third part of the book, the after effects of trauma are studied with particular emphasis on the often baffling problem of alexithymia. Following a comprehensive phenomenologic and dynamic exploration of alexithymia, including the status of instruments for measuring it (as described by John H. Krystal), Krystal concludes that post-traumatic deformation, as its core, consists of a loss of integration and, particularly, a loss of the ability to carry out self-caring and self-integrating functions. In examining alexithymic inhibitions in the capacity to take care of oneself, Krystal demarcates, vividly and concretely, the therapeutic challenge of dealing with preverbal, nonsymbolic maternal transferences from the earliest states of life.
Jeffrey A. Kottler
Graduate school and professional training for therapists often focus on academic preparation, but there’s a lot more that a therapist needs to know to be successful after graduation. With warmth, wisdom, and expertise, Jeffrey A. Kottler covers crucial but underaddressed challenges that therapists face in their professional lives at all levels of experience.
PART I , “More Than You Bargained For,” covers the changing landscape of the mental health profession and the limits and merits of professional training.
PART II , “Secrets and Neglected Challenges,” explores important issues that are often overlooked during training years, including the ways our clients become our greatest teachers, the power of storytelling, and the role of deception in psychotherapy.
And in PART III , “Ongoing Personal and Professional Development,” Kottler focuses on areas in which even the most experienced therapists can continue to hone their talents and maximize their potential, laying out effective tips to navigate organization politics, write and publish books and articles, cultivate creativity in clinical work, maintain a private practice, present and lecture to large and small audiences, sustain passion for the work of helping others, plan for the future, and much more.
As honest and inspiring as it is revealing, this book offers therapists and counselors at all levels of experience key ideas for thriving after formal education.