A self-help therapy book aimed at stopping addictive behavior.
When people think of addictions, the first things that come to mind are smoking, alcohol and drugs. But according to therapist Woolverton and New School and NYU instructor Shapiro (Speed Shrinking, 2009, etc.), anything can become an addiction if it interferes with a person living an emotionally rich, full life. The authors identify an addiction as “something that provides an escape, takes you out of yourself and your day-to-day life, and allows you to get further away from the painful feelings and emotions we would all prefer to avoid.” Using examples from his practice, Woolverton explores the multitude of habits that can easily slide into addictions—e.g., gambling, pornography, exercise and food (Woolverton discusses his own addictive behavior toward ice cream). By working through a series of tests and checklists, readers can characterize their own behaviors and determine if they are becoming addicts. The authors offer numerous solutions to each situation, ending each chapter with a numerical list of prescriptions to help readers stay on the right path. Woolverton and Shapiro pull no punches in stating that overcoming addiction is a difficult, usually lifetime commitment; the person must overcome not only the addictive behavior but also the pain behind the addiction in order for the therapy to be successful. Using the authors’ many examples of patients who have moved beyond their pain, readers will see that conquering an addiction is possible with determination and perseverance.
A solid multistep system for overcoming addiction.