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Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change Hardcover – February 18, 2014

60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This is the most important new resource for the millions of families struggling with drug and alcohol problems, and all the hopelessness and helplessness that goes with it. First, it provides reason for hope based on science, not conventional wisdom. Second, it provides a comprehensive, compassionate, and understandable plan, not a recipe for a quick fix. And third, it reaffirms that applying the family’s natural kindness and positive reinforcement, rather than withholding it, is what makes change possible." (Tom Hedrick Founding Member, The Partnership at

"I am an expert in substance use disorders–quoted all the time. But I could never apply all that so-called expertise where it really counted–in my own family. I had scientific knowledge but no practical tools to use to help me and my affected family cope and return to sanity. This book would have saved my family and me a lot of time, money, and most importantly pain. I intended to read this book as a professional courtesy and to offer editorial and perhaps scientific comments. Instead I found myself taking notes on every chapter and Xeroxing some of the handy tables. Two weeks after reading the book both my son and I are using these basic lessons and specific techniques today with my grand-kids.” (A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, Executive Director, Treatment Research Institute, former Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and professor of psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania)

"Beyond Addiction breaks out of the mold of traditional resources for families of people struggling with addiction. Unlike most popular self-help books in the field that suggest family members can only help themselves, Beyond Addiction empowers readers by (1) letting them know that they can help their loved one change and (2) showing them exactly how to do it. I started to put its invaluable suggestions into practice immediately in my personal and professional life. If you’re at the end of your rope, this book will provide hope, help you get your life back on track, and greatly improve the odds that your loved one will seek help." (Anne M. Fletcher, M.S., author of Inside Rehab and Sober for Good)

“Finally there is a family-based treatment for addiction that works. Beyond Addiction is the first effective book addressed to families of those with substance abuse problems. Instead of the old bromides – detaching and boundary setting – that are based on assumptions of family helplessness, Beyond Addiction offers evidence-based methods for families to motivate and reinforce change for an addicted loved one. The focus here is on effectiveness training for families, using collaboration and kindness rather than confrontation to support behavior change. I highly recommend this book; it should be required reading if your loved one struggles with substance abuse.” (Matthew McKay, Ph.D. author of Thoughts & Feelings and The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook)

“Objectively written and conveyed with congenial authority, the book offers collective hope to families of substance abusers... Essential.” (Kirkus)

"[Beyond Addiction's] gentle, optimistic and explanatory approach offers hope by giving family members outlets besides fighting, feeling stress, or idly waiting for motivation to happen. The Book helpfully offers reminders that although no one can make another person change, there is much that can be done to make change seem appealing and possible." (Publishers Weekly)

"Full of useful information and practical important resource for families affected by drug and alcohol problems." (Tulsa World)

About the Author

Jeffrey Foote, PhD, is co-founder and executive director of CMC and psychologist for the New York Mets. He has been a leader in the science and humanity of change for twenty-five years.

Carrie Wilkens, PhD, is co-founder and clinical director of CMC and a dedicated practitioner and researcher of the most effective treatments for substance use problems and compulsive behaviors. Her expertise is regularly sought by the CBS Early Show; Fox News; Newsweek; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Psychology Today.

Nicole Kosanke, PhD, is director of evaluation and family services at CMC. In 2008 Dr. Kosanke was featured in an O, The Oprah Magazine article about her client’s experience in treatment at CMC, which was later published in O’s Big Book of Happiness: The Best of O.

Stephanie Higgs is an editor and writer dedicated to bridging the gap between helpful ideas and people who could use the help.

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476709475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476709475
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Deanokat VINE VOICE on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the father of an addict in recovery, I have read dozens of books on addiction, treatment, and self-help. Believe me when I say that this book is unlike any of the others I've read. Written by people at the Center for Motivation and Change (CMC), Beyond Addiction is a truly unique guide for families who are dealing with a loved one's substance use issue.

This book is not another "old school" book on addiction that tells families they have to force their loved one into rehab and totally detach from them. It's not another "tough love" book. Instead it teaches you how you can play an active, important role in affecting change in your loved one. Yes, you can actually *help* your loved one get better by using CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training): "a scientifically supported, evidence-based, clinically proven approach to helping families of substance abusers." According to the book, "CRAFT has three goals: 1.) to teach you skills to take care of yourself; 2.) to teach you skills you can use to help your loved one change; and 3.) to reduce substance use, period, whether your loved one gets formal treatment or not."

I won't lie to you. Some of the strategies in Beyond Addiction may come as a shock to you if you're used to reading and hearing about the old school approaches to addiction, which frequently tell us that we are helpless when it comes to assisting a loved one. The book's subtitle itself--"How Science and Kindness Help People Change"--should give you a clue that this book is very different. Using kindness to help a substance user change? Seriously?? Yes! And the authors explain the concept very thoroughly.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Sharp on February 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As a sobriety coach and writer who specializes in substance abuse (in my case, particularly, crystal meth), I'm always on the lookout for books to recommend to fellow recovering addicts and their family members who write in seeking help. I highly recommend this book to both, but particularly to the family member or loved one of the addict. It will not only give you comfort and a greater understanding of what your addicted friend is going through, but you'll find practical, real life tips on what you can do to help better their odds at quitting, first, then at staying clean afterwards.

Too often we're told we must "practice tough love" and "let our loved one hit his bottom" before we can truly help. This book explodes that myth for what it is--false, old-school thinking that's not based in scientific reality. According to the latest studies, you CAN do many things to motivate positive change in your addicted friend or family member at many points along their journey of addiction. This book explores what you can do in detail and guides the reader in proper direction to seek help outside the book if he or she wants. To the many friends and family members of addicts who write me weekly seeking help, I now have a book I can highly recommend without reservation.

Take a look at the table of contents and read the opening pages (they're "Inside the Book" on Amazon's page) and you'll get an idea of what I mean. I'll end with this: at the end of my own book on quitting crystal meth I recommend less than half a dozen books to the reader who's interested in more, BEYOND ADDICTION will be added to that list when the Second Edition comes out next year. Can't recommend it higher.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Taughinbaugh on February 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a parent who as walked in the trenches, I know that the idea of kindness is easily forgotten when you are trying to deal with your child's substance abuse issues. Like any disease, knowing the reasons behind substance abuse is critical to creating change and healing. Beyond Addiction explains what is often behind substance abuse, why family members should stay involved and explains how you can make a difference for yourself and your loved one.

This is a well written book that shares how kindness, positive communication skills, taking care of yourself as well as many other powerful tools and strategies can help families who are struggling with the substance abuse of a loved one. The door is now open to understanding that there are many paths to finding change.

I've read dozens of addiction and recovery books. For any family struggling with the substance abuse of a loved one and especially those who are just discovering that there is a problem, Beyond Addiction is the first book you will want to read. The book gives you a concise understanding of what you are dealing with and the next steps to take. It will equip you with the knowledge and information that will help you make decisions for your family, and cope in a more calm and peaceful way. I highly recommend Beyond Addiction! Cathy Taughinbaugh, Parents to PhDs: 28 interviews with people who share heartache, wisdom and healing from first-hand experience with substance use disorder.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hedrick on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the most positive, hopeful, and helpful book available for families dealing with substance abusing kids. I have worked for two decades with parents and families who feel responsible, alone, and helpless. There have been shamefully few resources and places to turn for these families until now. Even with an addiction treatment system so far behind other diseases, this book can help parents help themselves and help their kids, with a truly evidenced-based process that has proven to be successful.
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