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The Heart of Addiction: A New Approach to Understanding and Managing Alcoholism and Other Addictive Behaviors Paperback – Dec 24 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (Dec 24 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060958030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060958039
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

It may be time for a closer look at some of our assumptions about addiction. Between the predominance of 12-step programs and incorrect information issued by the press, thousands of people are getting misinformation instead of the help they need. Lance Dodes, in his book The Heart of Addiction, reexamines common myths and provides a world of new recommendations aimed at helping anyone with an addiction, be it to gambling, alcohol, or prescription medications. Rather than focusing on the specific object of addiction, he chooses instead to look at the common desires and emotions present in anyone with addiction issues.

Through years of private practice and work in substance-abuse clinics, Dodes has noticed a pattern behind addiction--a pattern of anger, helplessness, and shame, coupled with a desire for immediate escape from these feelings. In presenting multiple composite cases, he shows us repeatedly that addiction is more than an uncontrollable desire for the substances; it is a behavior pattern with deeply emotional roots. Included are detailed explanations of differences between physical tolerance, abuse, and addiction, as well as an unusual questionnaire that focuses on the underlying reasons for drinking, rather than the more traditional one that covers specific amounts, methods, and results of imbibing. Separate chapters discuss particular issues of teens and couples, and special recommendations for seeking treatment are also included. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In a study based on 25 years of professional practice, clinical psychiatrist Dodes (Harvard Medical Sch.) shares his refreshingly new insights into treating addictive behaviors. Rebuffing shallow explanations of these problems (such as categorizing addictions as diseases), Dodes instead explains the emotional underpinnings of addictive behaviors, revealing that they are preceded by feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. Working with addictive behaviors is one of the most difficult challenges faced in the helping professions, and, as the author frankly states, efforts are further hindered by the classic myths of addictions, including the notion that people are addicted to the things that are addictive and that "addicts" should always be treated by someone who also has the addiction. Filled with realistic case examples, this new approach challenges the prevalent thinking in professional practice while explaining why people feel an impulse to engage in unproductive addictive behavior and what they can do about it. Highly recommended for counselors, psychiatrists, and university libraries supporting helping profession curriculums. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a licensed social worker and certified substance abuse counselor, I found the author's presentation intriguing--for both professional mental health providers and for those struggling with issues of addiction. He makes the case for more individualized treatment, especially the integration of past history with present issues. (In other words, WHY does the addict want to use WHEN he/she does?) According to the author, addiction is a personal and unique response to learned helplessness.) His conceptualization of addiction is one I'd like to see offered as an option to consider for all people seeking treatment for addiction, especially those who struggle with maintaining sobriety and feel stuck in the revolving door.
That said, his limitation is derived from his strength; he focuses solely on the individual. Unfortunately, he does not address what I see as an equally important consideration, the individual in the environment. Addiction will remain such an attractive alternative, especially to our youth, as long as we focus only on negative behaviors such as addctions, and neglect to provide ready access to programs that develop competencies in a wide range, good community recreational programs, and options for training and jobs.
The case history presentation makes for easy reading. The author's credentials and experience merit consideration from a wide range of readers.
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Format: Hardcover
You do not have to see a therapist to benefit from this book! This is the best book I have ever read about addiction. I found it to be different from every other book I've ever seen about this topic, and it has been enormously helpful to me, which I have to say was a big surprise given my experience with other books. The author is thoughtful, fair-minded, and compassionate, and the case histories are wonderful. This book really is in a class by itself, because it talks about the emotional basis of addictions in a way that I haven't seen anywhere else. If you are involved with 12-step programs, I personally think this book is perfectly compatible with them. But whether you have been in 12-step programs or not, this is a must-read book. I highly recommend it to anyone with addictive or compulsive behavior.
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Format: Hardcover
For 20 years I was addicted to caffeine, abusing it day in and day out. Planning my life around my morning espresso shots on an empty stomach. I believed that I was physically addicted and there was no way out. Then at the age of 38 I was diagnosed with adrenal stress, spine problems and severe dehydration. The gig was up, I had to kick the habit. With the help of this book, which I found totally by chance in the bookstore, I was able to grasp why my psychological addiction to caffeine was as important as my physical addiction. My chiropractor adjusted my neck so I felt less nerve tension--I no longer woke up with pounding headaches and depression. I realized that psychologically I had been addicted to other behaviors, non-substance related, as well. I realized how these various addictions were really all one addiction. I realized how other people in my family were addicts, moving from one addiction to the next. And I realized I could put a halt to my caffeine problem, I had the power. I was not helpless. I learned more about myself from this book than in three separate psychotherapies. I wish it had been published years ago, but better now than never. I recommend this book for everyone, not just addicts and compulsives. It helps one gain insight into the mystery of the psyche. I drink herb tea and water now and I'm slowly regaining my health. Thank God for Dr. Dodes and his compassionate treatment of the individual.
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By A Customer on April 28 2002
Format: Hardcover
Even-handed discussion of AA and individual psychotherapy for addiction.
Discusses alcohol and drug addictino, compulsive gambling, sex addiction and others.
Says that people with addiction are NOT a separate species from the general population. Addiction is a problem that afflicts all kinds of people.
Looks at what drives each individual person to drink/gamble/whatever. Anger at unrealized helplessness is a key, but the specifics vary from person to person.
Each episode is a choice, but largely an unconscious choice, so in essence no choice.
Understanding what happens at that moment the person decides to go ahead with the addictive act is what allows him or her to develop other choices.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent book for addiction. What the general public doesn't acknowledge and what the pharmaceutical companies and mental health advocates never mention is something that has long been known to psychotherapists. The supposedly helpless victim is always the one in charge, even of their own helplessness. Dr. Dodes research and experience in the cure of addiction mirrors my own research and experience, as a board-certified cognitive behavioral therapist, in the cure of depression. A. B. Curtiss, author of DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE.
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By A Customer on Jan. 31 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a brilliant book! Dr. Dodes crafts an incisive, kind and compelling thesis about what drives addictions. The book is filled to bursting with illuminating case studies, many of which will apply to yourself or loved ones. Whatever the problem, he's got you covered. The writing is pitch perfect and the thinking is lucid. Dodes is the first author I've read who is really on to something. This book should be required reading for anyone touched by addiction.
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