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The Tao of Sobriety: Helping You to Recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction Paperback – January 21, 2002


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The Tao of Sobriety: Helping You to Recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction + The Zen of Recovery + One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (January 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312242506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312242503
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Getting and Giving HelpIn The Tao of Sobriety: Helping You to Recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction, longtime therapists David Gregson and Jay S. Efran offer a self-help book designed either to work in tandem with 12-step programs or to help addicts get sober without group help. After a brief explanation of Taoism (a Chinese philosophy and religion whose practitioners seek inner peace), the authors present the Tao, a Chinese term meaning "the way," as an ideal vehicle for attaining and maintaining freedom from substance addiction. Replete with anecdotes, exercises (meditations, questions to explore, affirmations) and real-life applications of Taoist precepts (letting go of attachments to guilt and other "self-condemnation" behaviors that lead to substance abuse), this guide uses the firm but gentle approach that is the trademark of many Eastern practices.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A clear, accessible, and insightful guide that draws on the profound wisdom of the Eastern world." -- Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D., author of Helping Women Recover and A Woman's Way Through the Twelve Steps

"A compassionate guide to self-love and acceptance." -- Claudia Black, Ph.D., author of It Will Never Happen to Me

"This book has more ideas about recovery than you're likely to find in any other ten books. Highly readable, too." -- Robert F. Forman, Ph.D., director of the Technology Transfer Treatment Research Institute and Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania

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Customer Reviews

Outstanding and easy to comprehend.
ElkoJohn
This book can help addicts and their loved ones to experience the great joy of substance free, moment to moment living.
Charles E. Gallagher
It is a book that should give hope and courage to anyone struggling with addictions.
david brady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schenker on July 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found "The Tao of Sobriety" to be extremely helpful on several counts. With over 20 years experience in the substance abuse treatment field, I found Gregson and Efran articulating ideas that I'd been working with in a coherent and practical framework. Their section on establishing "innocence in spirit" among patients who are plagued with guilt about their addiction is especially powerful and has been well received by several of my patients. The use of actual exercises makes the book useful as well as stimulating. The message of this book is relevant whether one is working a 12-Step program, (in which case it fits neatly into the "prayer and meditation" of the 11th Step), or is seeking an alternative approach to recovery. In fact, most of the concepts have relevance beyond the substance abuse area, and have already found a way into my practice with both addicted and non-addicted patients. I recommend this book highly.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Gallagher on March 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although a therapist and a student of Zen practice for over 25 years, this book gave me a deeper level of compassion for people who suffer a life of addiction. I was impressed with how direct and yet nuturing the book spoke to the everyday difficulties of a person suffering from addiction.
I found the exercises and the related discussions practical, realistic and powerful. This book can help addicts and their loved ones to experience the great joy of substance free, moment to moment living. As a family member who has experienced the pain of another family member's addiction, it help me to change my interactions, conversations and start a new relationship based on honest expression and loving actions.
Read it, apply it and this book with change you!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Janice Digs on June 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love to read and re-read this book. It's not just about being sober, it's about being human. I feel like I have a personal private therapy session every time I pick up this book to read various passages. It is like you are being personally addressed and all your issues are diminished and you get "freed up". I only wish these authors were "on the road" giving seminars or something but, alas, don't find anything online about that. A truly, loving, supportive, forgiving friend is found when reading these pages. Thank you.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Norman R. David Gregson on May 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I do not know if this is kosher, but I thought "Why not use this opportunity to discuss (okay, and promote) my book"? Perhaps the most usefull feature of "The Tao Of Sobriety" is the way it deconstructs shame and facilitates radical acceptance or "Life on life's terms," as they say in Twelve Step programs. The acceptance of life leads naturally to peace of mind, serenity, the second promise of AA, after sobriety. I do not know of any self help book that directly attacks the cruel and innacurate notion that people literaly choose to do harm and so deserve to be punsished and scorned.

Essentialist guilt and shame are crippling to those with D&A dependencies, and others. In my very first session with clients I say, "Nobody wakes up one day feeling really and truly good about themselves and says 'Today is a good day to become a drunk, or a junkie.'" I always get a sad laugh at the absurdity of this. Yet, most of us do believe that people literaly choose to become addicted. This is why the Disease Model of addiction is clung to. If uncle Sol has a disease, well, he isn't a "lousey drunk" anymore; he is "sick." In "The Tao..." we show how to see and live life so that one does not need to be "diseased" in order to be worthy of compassion.

I work with many in Twelve Step groups and, to the person, they are relieved to find that they are not "sick."

Since D&A use, including drinking appropriately at a party, is always about changing feelings, moods, what my colleagues and I usually work with are broken childhood hearts. I usually work with the consequences of significant to severe child abuse and neglect. (By the way, we do not blame parents, we do not blame anybody. We are into positve, pragamtic, solutions, based upon up-to-date science.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By david brady on December 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Alcoholism and drug addiction are the only two pathologies (character traits) that tell you, you don't have them. If you think you might have a problem, you do! If you do then I would suggest two books to read, "Alcoholics Anonymous" or "The Tao of Sobriety"--if you're serious about getting sober. David Gregson's and Jay Efran's new book "The Tao of Sobriety" has captured the pain, lonliness and absurd (comic) insanity of alcoholism and drug addiction with compassion and insight. It is a book that should give hope and courage to anyone struggling with addictions. You owe it to yourself to take the time and read it. Its simple straight forward suggestions just might save your life.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ElkoJohn on August 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This workbook is the best cognitive approach (CBT) to recovery that I have read so far. Outstanding and easy to comprehend.
`
In the 12-Step Programs, those of us who have not experienced an anthropomorphic God (i.e., one who intervenes in human affairs) have an uphill battle with the religionists who want to promote their Higher Power (usually Jesus). Even my beloved Bill W. wrote the Chapter to the Agnostics, which has been used by more than one sponsor to clobber my agnosticism.
`
For 18-years, my Higher Power was my Home Group and the Big Book.
But it wasn't until I started using a cognitive-behavioral approach to recovery, and Buddhism for my spirituality that I really began having success in changing my "stinking thinking." So I don't care whether my binge drinking is a disease, heredity or part of my PTSD, all I know is that finally, after 20-years of effort, I am finally "happy, joyous & free." Thank you Bill W. for starting my journey & thank you Buddha & David Gregson for helping me put the icing on the cake.
`
For those interested, the following is a non-theistic summary of my 12-Step Program:
`
The Principles of the 12-Steps:
1. Honesty
2. Hope
3. Faith
4. Courage
5. Integrity
6. Willingness
7. Humility
8. Empathy
9. Justice
10. Perseverance
11. Spirituality
12. Service
`
Three Cardinal Rules of Sobriety:
1. Stay Sober NO MATTER WHAT !!
2. Change the Brain from its Stinking Thinking !!
.....(using cognitive therapy if necessary)
3. Help Others Stay Sober !!
`
How to Work a 12-Step Program:
1. For the 1st 90-days, Be Quiet (except to ask questions).
2. For the 1st year, LISTEN and LEARN.
3. From Day-1, PRACTICE What You Learn.
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