Empowering Your Sober Self: The LifeRing Approach to Addiction Recovery / Edition 1

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"A sophisticated, insightful, well-documented view of the philosophy and practice that are at the heart of the LifeRing approach. This book offers a perspective on recovery that can motivate change in clinicians and researchers as well as among individuals struggling to find their sober selves."
Carlo DiClemente, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and author, Addiction and Change

"With impressive analytical clarity and therapeutic generosity, Nicolaus presents a well-argued brief for understanding the complexities of addiction treatment and accepting the full range of diverse paths to recovery. . . . [Anyone] wanting insight and balance on a vitally important public health issue will appreciate the author's lively and respectful presentation."
Judith Herman, M.D., author, Trauma and Recovery

"In the words of our president, 'it's time for a change,' and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of addiction treatment. Nicolaus has written a wonderful book that presents LifeRing, a new model for self-help groups. A model based on empathy, scientific evidence, and giving people the power to make their own choices about treatment options. Indeed, change has come."
Joseph R. Volpicelli, M.D., Ph.D., executive director, Institute of Addiction Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and coauthor, Recovery Options: The Complete Guide

"Powerful, engaging, and scientific. Marty Nicolaus shows that the sober self emerges by focusing on a person's strength, intelligence, supportive relationships, and the ability to ask, 'what works?'"
Charlotte Sophia Kasl, author, Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps

"Finally, a respectful approach to persons caught in addiction. Nicolaus has given us another option in the heroic battle people fight to regain the wholeness that addiction compromises."
The Rev. Linda Mercadante, Ph.D., Straker Professor of Historical Theology, The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and author, Victims and Sinners

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470372296
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/20/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 6.02 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Nicolaus is the cofounder and C.E.O. of LifeRing Secular Recovery. He is an attorney in private practice who lives in Berkeley, California.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by William L. White.



My Story.

The LifeRing Philosophy.

1. A Person Addicted Is a Person in Confl ict.

The Divided Self.

“A” (Addicted Self) Versus “S” (Sober Self).

2. Prepare Your Sober Self for Action.

Reinforcing Your Sober Self.

Motivating Yourself to Start.

You’re Not Defective.

The Power of Habit.

3. How LifeRing Works.

The LifeRing Meeting.

An X-Ray of the Meeting Dynamic.

4. Building a Personal Recovery Program.

Why Build a Personal Recovery Program.

Building a Personal Recovery Program on Your Own.

The Challenges and Rewards of a Personal Recovery Program.

5. About Powerlessness.

Choice or Powerlessness.

How the Powerlessness Doctrine Drives Out Newcomers.

Powerlessness for Women and Minorities.

6. About the Disease Theory of Alcoholism.

The “Medical Business”.

Drinking and Public Health.

The Perfect Storm That Made the Treatment System.

The Cure for the Disease Model.

7. Genetic Headlines Meet Laboratory Realities.

Headline Fantasies Versus Laboratory Research.

The Dangers of Genetic Fatalism.


Recovery as Liberation.

An Invitation to LifeRing.



A Short List of Resources for Recovery.

About the Author.


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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 30, 2009

    I am not powerless. And I'm not alone either!

    When I read this book for the first time, I was relieved to finally find a positive and reassuring voice that says; you don't have to be powerless, or unearth and confess assumed character defects, to get and stay clean and sober.

    This book is for anyone who is looking for an alternative, personalized path to sobriety. Martin Nicolaus writes in a clear and simple manner that makes this book a pleasure to read. He backs up his thoughts, and the premise of his book with enough research and data to satisfy those - like me - who bristle at the voodoo that's often shared as fact in recovery meetings around the world. Thanks to Mr. Nicolaus for shining the light on a myriad of paths that I always thought were there. My job is to work the program that works for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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