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A Clinician's Guide to 12-Step Recovery: Integrating 12-Step Programs into Psychotherapy

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393705461
ISBN-10: 0393705463
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Schenker is not a zealot but a pragmatist and he has discovered the popularity and success of the 12-step approach to addiction as his own career developed….primarily designed to educate the frontline mental health practitioner on a topic that most likely will have been overlooked in their training....a useful addition to a mental health library.” (British Journal of Psychiatry)

“…a well-written, well-organized, and thorough discussion” (Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery)

About the Author

Mark Schenker, PhD, is a psychologist at the Caron Foundation and maintains a private practice near Philadelphia. His website is www.recoveryoptionsassociates.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (January 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393705463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393705461
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #926,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From John Howard Prin, author of The Roadmap to Lifelong Recovery and Secret Keeping: Overcoming Hidden Habits and Addictions

As an experienced counselor who helps people trapped in stubborn addictions, I am grateful for the ways this book opened my eyes to numerous insights and useful concepts. The author, Mark Schenker, PhD, carefully lays out in plain language the many ways that psychology and the 12 Steps could work together -- but so seldom have, due to prejudice, misinformation, and stereotypes.

Dr. Schenker makes the case that mental health professionals who still refuse to learn about or use the 12-Step approach with alcoholic or drug-addicted clients are rejecting a powerful tool set. Both approaches, professional psychotherapy and peer-based 12 Steps (AA, NA, Al-Anon meetings, etc.), have much to offer the suffering individual as well as the families and friends who suffer with them.

One of the main points of contention between these differing approaches is the central role of spirituality embedded in the 12-Step model. Dr. Schenker has clearly spelled out the ways the 12 Steps can open up the possibility of profound personal transformation. Stable sobriety involves more than saying no to alcohol or drugs; it means saying yes to significant changes in self-concept, thinking, lifestyle, and values. This transformation is the true reward of life changes based on sound spiritual development.
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Format: Hardcover
For the first time, the somewhat mysterious - to many clinicians, that is - world of 12-Step programs in the treatment of addictions has been clearly and carefully described by Mark Schenker, Ph.D. Although I have worked full-time in the addictions field for nearly five years, I learned so much from reading this book. Dr. Schenker's book is the reference I desperately needed when I first began to work with addicted individuals. He explains the 12-Step model and many aspects of the treatment methods that are essential for practicing therapists to understand. While there are many die-hard adherents to the 12-Step philosophy, as well as many staunch opponents, Dr. Schenker provides the most well balanced presentation of the pros and cons of the 12-Step approach while also reviewing other treatment models. As a Training Director of psychology graduate students and as a coordinator of a statewide psychology electronic newsletter, I would strongly encourage every clinical training program to assign this book for their students. Of course, this book will have much wider appeal to anyone who wishes a balanced, thorough, clearly written book on the 12-Step program of addictions treatment. This book is a long overdue and welcome addition to the clinical field
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Schenker's book was a joy to read. I am a psychologist with years of experience in psychotherapy and in addiction treatment programs and clients. I found the treatment of the complex issues involved in treating addicted clients-- especially theortetical and practice realtionships between psychotherapy and twelve step programs-- stimulating, illuminating and clarifying. Dr. Shenker is focused, often humorous, draws on a wide range of sometimes unexpected sources to illustrate his points, and is helpfully consistent. If an experienced clinician such as myself found this book helpful, it will prove to be invaluable to new mental health professionals who are often not well trained in the issues related to addictions and how to treat them.
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Format: Hardcover
All too often, we train clinicians in psychological theory and practice, in total ignorance of the increasingly common 12-step programs. Perhaps it's because we don't trust these programs which have not been empirically supported, perhaps it's because we see them as competing therapeutic approaches, or perhaps it's simply out of ignorance. Finally, with this new volume, there's no excuse for ignorance. In easy-to-read prose, Mark Schenker lays out a comprehensive review of these programs and examines the mechanisms by which they may be effective. More importantly, he explains, using case examples, how Ph.D. psychologists can incorporate these 12-step programs into their practice. No more excuses for not understanding and not working in partnership with 12 step programs. Perhaps now, interventions with addicted clients can be ever more effective.

I read this book cover to cover.I was surprised to find it fascinating, interesting, and enjoyable to read. I recommend it to my students and my colleagues, and anyone who wants to what 12 step programs are all about. It explains how psychotherapy with addicted clients can work alongside and perhaps synergistically, with 12 step programs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For many years I have been Medical Director of a felony-level SAMI (Substance Abuse Mental Illness) Court. I have felt I had to "split" myself in being the psychiatrist at some points and the CD counselor at others. I have never seen such a beautifully and sensitively crafted explanation of the union of the two. Dr. Schenker's comments on the 12-Steps alone are worth the price of the book. He manages to show the practicing psychiatrist both what he already knows (from analytic and ego-psychology training) and what he needs to know (about the "psychotherapeutic" value of the 12 Steps and the necessary element of spirituality). People, of the hundreds of books I have bought on Amazon, this is the first one I have reviewed. That's because I was seriously impressed.
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