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How to Change Someone You Love: Four Steps to Help You Help Them Hardcover – December 22, 2009

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How to Change Someone You Love: Four Steps to Help You Help Them + How to Help the One You Love: A New Way to Intervene and Stop Someone from Self-Destructing + Just 10 LBS: Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (Finally)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312590822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312590826
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,056,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this self-help guide to helping, the founder of Intervention Specialists addresses the spouses, parents, and friends of addicts whose lives are out of control: "loved ones who know that change is critical and urgent." Having struggled with drugs and alcohol himself, Lamm began the difficult road back to sobriety when a friend organized an intervention; here, the deeply dedicated counselor presents a four-step method based in his experiences on both sides of the process. Showing how easy it is for well-meaning people to fall into the power trap of "nagging, prodding, manipulation or threats," Lamm details methods for successful intervention, using a group of friends and family to form an ongoing support group (a "circle of change") that will confront the abuser as a first step (with "words of encouragement, truth... and the warm protective embrace of love"). Lamm also addresses inevitable setbacks, and the stress faced by members of the support group, with practical methods, anecdotal illustrations and a comprehensive resource guide. As a thorough guide to helping substance abusers find help, this makes a valuable addition to the self-help shelves.

About the Author

Brad Lamm has been helping others get sober and stay sober for years.  Highly motivated and with long-term sobriety himself, he is a Board-Registered Interventionist, a teacher and speaker, and a founder of Intervention Specialists.  Previously a news anchor, his TV work today centers on family systems and teaching people how to begin change in their own lives, and in the lives of those they love. 

More About the Author

Brad Lamm is an author & educator best known for helping people make life-enhancing change on The Dr. OZ Show. (

Brad is the Founder of Intervention Specialists, a crisis intervention group helping family and friends enable a resistant loved one to make change using his "invitational" intervention method whereby the loved one is invited to his or her own intervention. In 2008 Brad founded The Change Institute to help inform and inspire folks to live better, lighter lives through weight loss and smoking cessation programs.
Brad believes that oneʼs circle of friends and family is uniquely poised to offer support, accountability and structure from a beginning point of love and honesty -- no matter how broken-down or discouraged they may feel.

Highly motivated and with long-term recovery himself, Bradʼs teaching style is no-nonsense and accessible, blending hope with the dynamic nature of his work. Previously a network-affiliate news anchor, his TV work today centers on his role as a regular on The Dr. OZ Show. He is a Creator and Producer of an upcoming series for OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network).
His best-selling books include:

- How to Change Someone You Love: Four Steps to Help You Help Them
- How to Help the One You Love: A New Way to Intervene (December 2010)
- Just Ten! Easy Steps to Weighing What You Want (FINALLY!) (Jan 2011)

Brad lives in NYC with his family.

Customer Reviews

Perhaps if I wanted to gang up on someone with a lot of people, I might think otherwise.
Titanium Lili
How To Change Someone You Love: Four Steps To Help You Help Them by Brad Lamm This book tells how to help a loved one stop with self destructive behavior.
P. Bergbauer
If you have a loved one who needs help with any sort of addiction, then you need to get this book.
Jami Garrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. P. Schiesl on August 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've been doing recovery work (Celebrate Recovery, Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous, etc.) for two years due to a problem person in my home. I saw this book on the library shelf and checked it out. As others have said, it is geared toward an intervention. That's great if you can do it and have the manpower to get everyone together, and maybe it will work for some people. But if you are seriously dealing with an alcoholic, drug addict, or other various addictions, please realize that this may not be a 'cure all'.

I do believe that 'exposure' is a good antidote to addiction. The addict can no longer hide and they might feel compelled to make some changes, but they may not. Addicts are master liars, and they tell the biggest lies to themselves. They have to become willing to face the truth of their addiction and all the mechanisms that are driving them to the addiction. To the addict, that might be painful, scary, and humiliating. And it takes hard work on their part to come out of that hole that they have dug.

As it was said, the author was an addict, and is not a person who had to live with a hard-core addict. So there may be some nuances that might get lost in the shuffle, and he may not see everything through the eyes of someone who has suffered the abuse and torment of living with an unchangable monster.

My advice, if I can give it, is to become the strongest and healthiest YOU that you can become. When you are healthy, you have a better chance at having real change (if not for the addict, at least for you and your children). While it is good to be supportive of the addict if possible, we cannot sacrifice and destroy ourselves in the process of trying to further enable someone who is unwilling to wake up for their own good. Be strong. God be with you in your search and in your personal recovery.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Conventional wisdom says that you cannot change someone - that you cannot successfully intervene until they are ready. We have all heard that when a person is ready, when they hit bottom, then and only then will they be open to getting the help they need to change their life.

"How to Change Someone You Love" is all about helping a loved one starting now. Brad Lamm says that the conventional wisdom is wrong - that you can and should intervene right now.

The book is all about helping loved ones who are involved in self-destructive behavior such as alcohol or drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling disorders, abusive relationships, etc.

Most efforts by family members to help a loved ones change their life does not work. The reason is simple, the family members do not take the correct approach. Lamm gives a four step process that has proven very successful in a wide array of situations, that is different addictions and different family situations.

The four steps are:

Craft a circle of change. This involves a circle of family and friend approaching the loved one in a caring but united group to get the person to commit to change.

Deliver the invitation to change

Champion the change

Care for yourself

The book gives a very detail explanation of the four step process with real life examples taken from Lamm's work. He tells you what to do and discusses the different situations you will likely encounter.

This is not a substitute for professional treatment. The purpose of this book is to help get the loved on into the necessary treatment. The approach is to use love and compassion rather than the normal approach of nagging.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laura I on January 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book basically teaches you how to hold an intervention for someone you love. I should state that I am currently working on my masters in social work, and so have been trained in interventions of several kinds. The kind that this author is referring to is the well-known, 'gather everyone who knows the guy to read letters about how much his problem upsets you all, and then send him to rehab or counseling'. If you've ever seen the A&E show "Intervention", this is very similar, except you don't surprise your loved one, and there wont be a professional there to help you, it's all you.

My problem with this? Well, without a professional there, how will this keep from turning into a screaming and crying match? The book teaches you basic counseling skills like active listening, etc, but I think you'd need to have everyone attending the intervention read the book so that everyone else could try and keep their cool as well. My other problem is the fact that the book starts out with the author saying that you can use this approach for any problem big or small, and anyone you know, even a co-worker. But frankly, I can't imagine holding an intervention like the kind suggested because your husband leaves his socks on the floor, or because your neighbor has an attitude. However, if you have a family member with a serious drug problem, and can't afford to hire an interventionist, this book may be a more reasonable option.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Brad Lamm was an up and coming weatherman before he was brought down by his drinking and drug habits. He managed to survive and recover from his addiction because of the help he received from others. He turned his life around and now brings to the rest of us what he learned from his own experience and what he has learned from helping others. The core of his message is that people can change and overcome difficult problems, like drug addiction for example, but they need to have others help them; going it alone, in Lamm's opinion, is not enough. Lamm provides a four step plan to help the person with the problem: 1) Craft a Circle of Change; 2) Deliver the Invitation to Change; 3) Champion the Change; and 4) Care for Yourself.

What this amounts to is a person's loved ones, and other important figures, need to get together in what's called a Family Meeting, and present to the individual the need and options to change, while at the same time having idenitified the resources (treatment centers; therapists; etc), and being there for the person while not getting overwhelmed by the person's problem. According to Lamm, this is a recipe for success. He has credibility since he himself was more or less saved by this process, and because he claims to have helped hundreds of people using this approach. I think it would be helpful in the future to see a longitudinal study comparing this approach to others.

The one piece of this which I think is the most challenging, and yet the most critical, is putting together the so-called Family Meeting. Lamm proposes that not only loved ones, but others who may need to get involved, should participate in this meeting, including people like bosses.
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