Essential outreach on embracing and effectively managing a loved one’s addiction.

BEYOND ADDICTION

HOW SCIENCE AND KINDNESS HELP PEOPLE CHANGE

A sensible, family-focused guide to substance abuse.

In addressing family members who feel helpless when faced with addiction, Foote, Wilkens, and Kosanke draw on 40 years of substantiated analysis and clinical research from their Manhattan-based Center for Motivation and Change, a collective recovery treatment program founded on the hopeful principle that “people get better.” All three are aggressive proponents of the Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training rehabilitation strategy, which introduces a real-world, motivational, coordinated approach to a loved one’s substance abuse. The guidebook begins with the basics, describing the nature of addiction as a “complex and multidetermined” problem, how it takes hold, and its underlying psychological causation, which can vary from chronic depression to bipolar disorder. With the assistance of co-author Higgs, the authors promote professional hope for “profound possibilities” through understanding, coping, helping and thriving. Bulleted lists and helpful exercises further assist families with identifying the stages of drug abuse, coping mechanisms, modes of self-care, limitations and the importance of positive communication. The book steers family members and supporters away from the trap of codependency yet comforts them in knowing that any ambivalence they may feel is completely normal and is simply the byproduct of life changes. The highlighted case studies clearly personify a wide array of situations of varying severity—e.g., discovering a spouse is a closet alcoholic or finding oneself at the mercy of opioid painkillers or unable to break a cigarette smoking habit. The authors also include a lengthy, significant chapter on treatment options and available levels of care, all stated, as is most of the book’s text, in accessible, everyday language. Objectively written and conveyed with congenial authority, the book offers collective hope to families of substance abusers.

Essential outreach on embracing and effectively managing a loved one’s addiction.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0947-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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