- 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: 139 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change Hardcover – February 18, 2014
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"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 Drugfree.org)
"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 suggestions...an 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.
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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.
Beyond Addiction actually teaches family members and friends how to become empowered and make a huge difference in a substance user's life, using an actual plan. The book is broken down into four parts: What to Know; How to Cope; How to Help; and Live Your Life. You can choose to read the book in order or skip around, depending on what parts you think are most important to you at any given time. There are also interesting sidebars entitled "Good News" and "What's Hard About This." (I especially appreciated the "What's Hard About This" explanations, which are very clear, concise, and informative.)
This positive, science-based guide to helping a loved one was fascinating to me. It was incredibly refreshing to read an optimistic and compassionate approach to addiction treatment. (Note: CRAFT can also be used to motivate and reinforce change in other behaviors, too.) I wish this book was around a few years ago when my wife and I were first dealing with our son's addiction. It would've been fabulous to have been able to try the plan detailed in Beyond Addiction. I'm sure a lot of the verbal battles we had with our son back then could have been avoided.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction or other compulsive behaviors, I highly recommend picking this book up. As it says on the inside flap, "This guide is designed not only to help someone change, but to help someone *want* to change." It's also full of hope, and that's a wonderful thing.
Do you wonder Why Do People Change? How Do People Change? Some of the other chapters are just as helpful: Start Where You Are, Self-Care, Have Your Limits, Start Where They Are, Goals, Reinforcement: The Driver of Change, and Consequences. I wish everyone could read the concise and powerful chapter on Positive Communication -- I believe it has the potential to revolutionize our relationships. I've memorized the Seven Elements of Positive Communication and try to review them daily and whenever I'm having a 'higher stakes' conversation. With these communication skills, I feel calmer and more empowered and it is easier to listen and really try to understand the other person.
I have given a copy of this book to almost every member of my family and asked them to start just by reading the chapter on Positive Communication, explaining that although this book has the word 'addiction' in the title, it really has something for all of us who want to learn how to change our own negative behaviors and habits and understand how to connect with and motivate others to make positive changes for themselves.
Knowing this book and this information is in the world really makes me glad to be alive today. If I could, I would buy a copy for every person who is hurting and say, there is hope for change -- hope for yourself, and for your loved ones.
When you're looking for help for your loved one and yourself, you can run into some very one-size-fits-all, black and white approaches. This book is about options, perspective and getting your own life under control so you can be a better help to others. It never puts the pressure or blame for someone else's problem on the family members or significant others, but it does have some very realistic and helpful advice for what a family member can do to optimize conditions for change. They don't prescribe one rigid path, which if it isn't followed means doom and despair. It's really more about developing a healthy understanding and attitude toward change, and the various ways change happens for different people.
I love many books, but most I do not consider to be life-changing. I think it's rare for a book to have that much power, at least in a lasting way. I think this book is different and that the things I learned from it are lessons that will stay with me, that I'll use (and already have used) in multiple life situations and that can be built upon.
I can't recommend it highly enough.