The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions

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9780195147681: The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions
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Millions of alcoholics and addicts recover through spirituality. In The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions, author and journalist Christopher D. Ringwald tells how and why they seek and achieve these transformations.
Ranging as far back as the Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society in 1840, Ringwald illuminates the use of spirituality within a wide range of treatment options--from the famous Twelve Step-style programs to those tailored to the needs of addicted women, Native Americans, or homeless teens not ready to quit. Focusing on the results rather than the validity of beliefs espoused by these programs, he demonstrates how addicts recover through practices such as self-examination, meditation, prayer and reliance on a self-defined higher power. But the most compelling evidence of spirituality's importance comes from those directly involved in the process. Ringwald traveled across the country to visit dozens of programs and interview hundreds of addicts, alcoholics, counselors, family members, doctors and scientists. Many share moving stories of suffering, survival, and redemption. A homeless man, a surgeon, a college student, a working mother-each describes the descent into addiction and how spirituality offered a practical, personal means to recovery. Ringwald also examines the controversies surrounding faith-based treatment and the recovery movement, from the conflict between science and spirituality, to skepticism about the "new age" brand of spirituality these programs encourage, to constitutional issues over court-mandated participation in allegedly religious treatment programs.
Combining in-depth research with powerful personal accounts, this fascinating exploration of spirituality will provide a fuller understanding of the nature of addiction and how people overcome it.

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About the Author:


Christopher D. Ringwald is a journalist who has written on mental health, religion, books, law and social policy for The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Commonweal and Governing. He was named the 2002 Albany Author of the Year, won a first place award from the Catholic Press Association, and is author of Faith in Words. Ringwald directs the Faith & Society Project at The Sage Colleges in Albany, N.Y., and is a senior writer at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. He may be reached via email at ringwc@sage.edu or by phone at (518) 292-1727

From Library Journal:

These very different books share the premise that spirituality rather than pharmacology or will power underlies successful recovery from addiction. Both expand on the idea of spirituality beyond the doctrinal and ritualistic form to a wider range of thought. Mindful Recovery flows out of a Buddhist perspective that substitutes the authors' "ten doorways" for the more rigorous 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Based on research and professional experience, the book argues for "mindfulness," a quality of openness to life's experiences, as a lifestyle for the recovering addict. Presented here are both specific techniques and "practices" (e.g., journaling and meditation) for attaining mindfulness and composite life stories that illustrate various themes. Thomas Bien, a clinical psychologist and lecturer, and Beverly Bien, director of an agency that provides services to the disabled, have written a soothing and sensible self-help book that could be useful to open-minded individuals facing addiction issues. Based on interviews, research reviews, and visits to programs and conferences, The Soul of Recovery is rooted in the Alcoholics Anonymous philosophy, though Ringwald's perspective is more expansive. The author, a reporter for Newsday and director of the Faith and Society Project at the SAGE Colleges in Albany, NY, covers the theoretical relationship between addiction and spirituality; treatment programs (e.g., Hazelden) and specific modalities for women and minorities; the science of addiction and research on effective treatament; and policy implications for recent political initiatives advocating "faith-based" social programs. The result is an impressive, straightforward synthesis of diverse and controversial issues. Both books provide viable alternatives to the "broken brain" thesis of biological psychology/psychiatry. Ringwald's presentation is more analytical, comprehensive, and research based, making it better suited to public and professional libraries. The Biens' book would make a sound addition to specialized collections on alternative approaches to addiction. Antoinette Brinkman, M.L.S., Evansville, IN
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. It is common knowledge that for most alcoholics and addicts recovery programmes like AA seem to hold out the best hope of conquering their addiction. Most of us also know that such programmes usually stress reliance on some sort of "higher power". This book shows that in fact spiritual development is the central factor in the recovery of a significant percentage of substance abusers, and that spirituality is the lynchpin of many if not most recovery programmes inthis country. Journalist Christopher Ringwald visited many treatment centres and interviewed hundreds of recovering alcoholics and addicts, counsellors, and family members, many of whose voices are heard in this book. Ringwald's purpose was to find out just how spirituality figures in theindividual's recovery and how it is deployed by the treatment programmes. He explores the differences among a wide range of programmes : 12-step, Christian, Muslim, Native American, and those based in Eastern religions. Vividly written and thoroughly researched, this book is the first to focus on this intruiging phenomenon-an all but hidden, yet thriving new spiritual movement in our midst. Seller Inventory # APC9780195147681

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. It is common knowledge that for most alcoholics and addicts recovery programmes like AA seem to hold out the best hope of conquering their addiction. Most of us also know that such programmes usually stress reliance on some sort of "higher power". This book shows that in fact spiritual development is the central factor in the recovery of a significant percentage of substance abusers, and that spirituality is the lynchpin of many if not most recovery programmes inthis country. Journalist Christopher Ringwald visited many treatment centres and interviewed hundreds of recovering alcoholics and addicts, counsellors, and family members, many of whose voices are heard in this book. Ringwald's purpose was to find out just how spirituality figures in theindividual's recovery and how it is deployed by the treatment programmes. He explores the differences among a wide range of programmes : 12-step, Christian, Muslim, Native American, and those based in Eastern religions. Vividly written and thoroughly researched, this book is the first to focus on this intruiging phenomenon-an all but hidden, yet thriving new spiritual movement in our midst. Seller Inventory # APC9780195147681

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