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Breaking Addiction: A 7-Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction Paperback – March 1, 2011

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Breaking Addiction: A 7-Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction + The Heart of Addiction: A New Approach to Understanding and Managing Alcoholism and Other Addictive Behaviors + The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Without denying the difficulty of the terrain, Dodes’s program is a call to a clear-eyed, coherent approach. This groundbreaking work should become the ‘go to’ handbook for anyone suffering with addiction. Its easy-to-read style takes sophisticated ideas and turns them into memorable examples. I highly recommend it.” (Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Answers to Distraction and Superparenting for ADD)

From the Back Cover

Finally—a road map to recovery from the nation's most original thinker on addiction

In his revolutionary book The Heart of Addiction, Dr. Lance Dodes examined the underlying emotions that drive addictive behaviors—whether drinking, gambling, sex, or eating. Now, in Breaking Addiction, Dodes presents a comprehensive guide outlining seven critical steps to overcome addiction, based on his findings.

Through his practice and research, Dodes has found that virtually every addictive act is preceded by feelings of helplessness. In his refreshingly clear style, Dodes incorporates case stories to illustrate exactly how these feelings set addiction in motion, how to recognize the path toward addiction—and then how to take back control.

Many people, discouraged by current treatments, have been hungry for an approach that digs addiction up by its roots. Since the publication of The Heart of Addiction, Dodes's ideas have been incorporated by therapists and treatment centers around the country, and are taught by universities and training centers for clinicians.

With special sections for both families and health-care professionals, Breaking Addiction is poised to be the handbook for a new, comprehensive, and in-depth understanding of addiction.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; Original edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061987395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061987397
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lance Dodes, MD, has been treating people with addictions for more than three decades. He is the author of The Heart of Addiction and Breaking Addiction. He is a Training and Supervising analyst emeritus with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and recently retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He lives in Southern California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
+++ This refers to the audio version of this book +++

From an addict's perspective:

This is not a book for frivolous quitting attemps. If you're serious about getting rid of your addiction (instead of exchanging it with another one) or want to understand/help/cope with an addict friend, partner, spouse - than go for it.

The book helps you understand the very core, the psyche of addictions (how and exactly when they take control of your actions, behavior and mood) and urges you to focus on your own intellectual strategy of preventing/managing cravings, instead of concentrating solely on the physical addiction itself and/or the moment of using (which both are actually relatively treatable in contrast to the severe psychological dependence).

It's a great guide to manage your relationships with your spouse, children, friends and other loved ones, helps you pose a true, honest and supportive explanation about your problems, so that they will try to understand and help you, instead of worrying about - and worse - diverging from you. It also features a brief academic guide for your medical supervision to implement this method into your own treatment plan.

I have been an addict for many years now and tried almost every possible way to get rid of my addiction, without any lasting success.

Since I know now - thanks to Doctor Lance M. Dodes and his book - what triggers my emotions and self destruction at that very moment of overwhelming helplessness, I was able to cast my own recovery plan just based on my own experience and instincts, which has been the best solution to resolve my addictive behaviors yet.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Warner on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Having read and been enormously helped by Dr. Dodes's first book, "The Heart of Addiction," I pre-ordered his new one and was excited to receive it on my Kindle this morning (love new technology!). I've spent the better part of today reading it start to finish, and I'm just blown away. To be blunt, this is the best book about addiction I've ever read, and I've read more than I can possibly count. For those who don't know who he is, Dr. Dodes is a highly respected Harvard psychiatrist who has developed a new approach to treating addiction over the last 20 years. It's an approach that successfully does what so many approaches fail to do at all: explain the kinds of psychological conflicts that lie at the heart of and "drive" all of our addictions. Dodes puts addicts in a position of strength (addicts are NOT weaker than anyone else) and allows them to start controlling their behavior in a way that they couldn't have before. This book lays out step by step and very clearly--with lots of case examples--how to finally break an addiction. I know it might sound a little dramatic, but if you're an addict, this book may very well change your life.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By James Carpenter on March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have never written an Amazon review before, but I feel moved to spread the word about this book. Some ideas are too important not to share. Dr. Dodes is onto something really important here: his ideas about how addiction works are the kind of major breakthrough everyone should know about.

This new book expands on Dodes's earlier ideas and turns them into action items. He explains the complete process that takes normal impulses and turns them inward into addictive acts. What makes his approach unique is that you start and end from a position of strength, and as a helpful bonus, you actually come to understand yourself better throughout the process. One of his most important points is that addiction is actually a healthy response to feelings of helplessness -- one which unfortunately gets twisted into something terrible.

Dodes is an engaging writer, and his endless case studies and examples just make addiction make sense. If you have an addiction, or know someone who does, do yourself a big favor and read this book. It will amaze you.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Insight Counseling on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Dodes intimately understands the powerful and unconscious forces behind repetive relapse and addictive behavior and writes in a clear narrative that is without jargon or pretense. I have read literally 100s of titles on addiction and recovery and this book is on my top 5 list of humane, helpful and well written volumes.
I have worked with persons suffering with addictions for 25 + years and I have often shared Dr. Dodes first book, "The Heart of Addiction" with clients who wnat to break the cycle of sufferinga nd are deeply frustrated by their own 'acting out' despite a great desire to change. What makes "Breaking Addiction" such a wonderful book is that it is written directly to the person struggling and gives simple, descriptive and senstive narratives about real clients to illustrate every point.

I now routinely give "Breaking Addiction" to my clients and find that they gain so much by reading it. Their therapy literally leaps forward after reading it and thay feel empowered to find their own answers and truth if they apply the thoughtful principles.

Highly recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on March 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book really resonated with me. I've been struggling with a pornography addiction for years and I was making headway but I just didn't seem to find any understanding to how I could really practice a more enduring and lasting strategy. The book hit the nail right on the head in that I act out as a result of feelings of helplessness. I would have panic attacks afterwards from my shame and really be enraged at my circumstance. The issue is that my main trigger is my father who speaks very aggressively and harshly to me. I am not financially independent yet and so I become entrenched in feelings of helplessness. The point is, I wasn't able to see my behaviour with this much clarity before, it's wonderful to be able to understand in a really clear way the mechanics of triggers. Then Lance show you how you can find short term behaviours to engage in instead to regain your sense of power. It's a lovey book and will really help you pull yourself out of addiction very crisply.
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