Addiction & Alcoholism

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
AddictionsA Can of MadnessA Drop of the Hard StuffA Million Little PiecesAA: Not the Only WayAddicted Like MeAddictionAddictionAddictionAddiction and ArtAddiction and ChangeAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAddiction NeuroethicsAddiction Recovery ToolsAddiction TrajectoriesAddiction TreatmentAddictive BehaviorsAdvances in the Neuroscience of AddictionAlternatives to AbstinenceBeautiful BoyBeyond AddictionBlackoutBlameBodies in Motion and at RestBrokenCaught in the NetChasing the HighChasing the ScreamCircles of RecoveryCloserCodependent ForevermoreControlling Your Drinking: Tools to Make Moderation Work for YouCrackedCreating the American JunkieCybersexDirtyDrinkingDrinking in AmericaDrug Dealer, MDDrunk the Night BeforeDrunkardDryDuplicityEcstasyForces of HabitFree RefillsFrom Sabotage to SuccessGetting HookedGetting OffGetting WastedHigh PriceHookedHow to Spot Hidden Alcoholicshow to stop timeHypnosis for Smoking CessationIf I Die Before I WakeIllness or Deviance?In the Shadows of the NetLeaving Las VegasLitLithium for MedeaLiving With One’s PastLove JunkieMatters of SubstanceMemoirs of an Addicted BrainMethadoniaModerate DrinkingMore, Now, AgainMy Friend LeonardNever EnoughOver the InfluencePorn NationPowerfully Recovered!Rachel Getting MarriedRachel's HolidayReal Solutions for Overcoming Internet AddictionsRecovery from AddictionRecovery OptionsRequiem for a Dream DVDSex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation Sex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShameShe Bets Her LifeSmackSmashedSmashedStop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for Life ChangesStrong FeelingsSubstance Abuse As SymptomTackling AddictionTalking Oneself SoberThe 5 Reasons Why We OvereatThe AddictThe AlcoholicThe Angry HeartThe Behavioral AddictionsThe Betty Ford Center Book of AnswersThe Big FixThe Biology of DesireThe Book of JamaicaThe Chemical Dependence Treatment PlannerThe Heart of AddictionThe Meaning of AddictionThe Night of the GunThe RecoveringThe Science of AddictionThe Science of Self-ControlThe Sober TruthTheory of AddictionThinking about AddictionTreating AddictionTweakUS of AAVirtual AddictionVoices of AlcoholismWhat Did I Do Last Night?What is Addiction?Writing to Heal

Related Topics
Beyond AddictionReview - Beyond Addiction
How Science and Kindness Help People Change
by Jeffrey Foote, Carrie Wilkens Nicole Kosanke Stephanie Higgs
Scribner, 2014
Review by Christian Perring
Jan 12th 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 2)

Beyond Addiction is a book written by therapists associated with the Center for Motivation & Change. It largely rejects old twelve step approaches and old myths about addiction, replacing them with evidence-based approaches.  While it sometimes is a little overenthusiastic about the extent to which its methods have been proven, rather than just having some supporting evidence, it is a welcome resource as a reasonable approach to understanding and treating addiction. It is aimed mostly at those who live with addicts and are trying to help them. The fundamental assumption of the book is that addiction is most helpfully addressed psychologically: addicts keep on their addictive behavior because they want to. They haven't lost control, and they are open to reason and incentive. They will decrease their addictive behavior when it stops being so rewarding. At the same time, this approach does not assume that people can "just stop." It takes time to change acquired habits and ways of thinking, and there will be many setbacks along the way. People have bad days or longer periods, when they have much more difficulty sticking to their plans to reduce or stop their addictive behavior. There are all sorts of ways to help people give up their addictions, including various medications and changes in lifestyle, and late in the book, the authors discuss these. But they spend the bulk of the book discussing how to motivate a friend or family member to change their behavior. Chapters address the nature of addiction, what makes people change, coping with your situation living with an addict, and several on how to help. Helping is based on forming goals, communicating positively, reinforcing good change and creating consequences for negative behavior, what kinds of treatment are available and how to get the person with an addiction to enter treatment.

The authors have little time for notions such as addiction as a disease or co-dependency, although they acknowledge they may be meaningful to some.  They avoid using "addict" as a way to refer to a person with a behavior problem, and they encourage reframing problems so that they appear more susceptible to change. They reject many ideas long held about addiction, such as that addicts need to "hit bottom" before they can change, or that families cannot help their loved one unless the person wants to be helped. Their approach is much more open to gradual, non-linear change, where families are direct with the person with the problem about what they want, but choose their moments carefully, and express their ideas lovingly as much as possible.  The book is clear that family members are not therapists, and their job is not to completely negate their own needs. Rather, their goal is for the people reading the book to get what they want by helping their loved ones.  The book is especially good on showing how this kind of approach means that family members are not manipulating their loved one by helping them; far from it, they are expressing their feelings and needs directly.  But that's different from expressing every angry thought, which is not really spontaneous behavior, but instead of often long repeated and unhelpful behavior. So Beyond Addiction is conceptually rich as well as being based on good science. It will be extremely useful to anyone who lives with someone with addictive behavior.


© 2016 Christian Perring


Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York



Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716