The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors

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Most addictive behavior is rooted in some type of loss, be it the death of a loved one, coming to terms with limitations set by chronic health problems, or the end of a relationship. By turning to drugs and alcohol, people who have suffered a loss can numb their grief. In the process, they postpone their healing and can drive themselves further into addiction.

The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction offers readers an effective program for working through their addiction and grief...

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The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors

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Most addictive behavior is rooted in some type of loss, be it the death of a loved one, coming to terms with limitations set by chronic health problems, or the end of a relationship. By turning to drugs and alcohol, people who have suffered a loss can numb their grief. In the process, they postpone their healing and can drive themselves further into addiction.

The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction offers readers an effective program for working through their addiction and grief with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Created by a psychologist who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs and a marriage and family therapist who works for Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, this mindfulness training workbook is effective for treating the emotion dysregulation, stress, depression, and grief that lie at the heart of addiction. No matter the loss, the mindfulness skills in this workbook help readers process their grief, determine the function their addiction is serving, and replace the addiction with healthy coping behaviors.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction is a brilliant blend of psychology and spirituality. Williams and Kraft have written a breakthrough manual, clearly and intelligently laid out, that blends the most current understanding of addiction with the powerful practices of mindfulness. One of the best books on living with integrity we have read in years.”

—Michele Hébert, author of The Tenth Door, and Mehrad Nazari, PhD, director of the Raja Yoga Institute

“What a gift! This wonderful workbook will help you understand how addictions function as a false remedy for negative feelings. It is packed with stories, metaphors, worksheets, and activities that will teach you how to befriend your mind and use it as a resource for recovery and fulfillment. The authors use everyday language to describe the complexities of the human condition, and help you systematically learn and practice skills to accept your feelings, live with integrity by honoring your values, and enrich your relationships. The workbook can be used by individuals or groups and will make a great adjunct for psychotherapy.”

—Heidi A. Zetzer, PhD, director of the Hosford Counseling & Psychological Services Clinic at the University of California, Santa Barbara

“Refreshing, unique, and practical. The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction is an impressive synthesis of Eastern and Western techniques designed to help those struggling with addiction find a path towards healing and transformation. Through the use of mindfulness practices, cognitive-behavioral exercises, case examples and relevant metaphors, the authors entice readers to actively participate in their own recovery. This workbook offers creative, new ideas and practical recovery tools designed to facilitate real and lasting change. I can’t wait to use it with my clients!”

—Phylis Wakefield, PhD, psychologist, specialist in addiction and trauma and coauthor of Couple Therapy for Alcoholism

“With warmth and patience, The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction guides the reader step-by-step through a journey toward self-understanding, self-acceptance, responsibility, and healing. With practical knowledge of how painful emotions drive us to act against our own well-being and how to free ourselves from this struggle, Williams and Kraft have provided an invaluable resource for people in recovery and the therapists who aid them. Mental health professionals are offered a comprehensive map of the emotional ground traveled in recovery from addictions and other self-defeating behaviors, with spot-on teaching stories that illustrate each stage of the process.”

—Laura E. Forsyth, PhD, supervisor of psychological counseling at Moorpark College and psychologist in private practice serving adults with ADHD, depression and anxiety in Camarillo, CA

“With an engaging and conversational tone, Williams and Kraft show you how to change the energy of addiction. Their practical strategies allow addictive personalities to dig deep and tackle the genesis of their destructive behaviors and trigger positive-mindset solutions for living a more powerful life.”

—Stacey Canfield, author of The Soul Sitter Handbook

“The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction is a practical, easy-to-read book that addresses addictions of all varieties. The workbook is rich in offering tools and insights that everyone can benefit from, whether they struggle with an addiction or not. The authors nicely use case examples and metaphors to bring the concepts alive. This will be a valuable resource to anyone seeking to learn new skills for overcoming an addiction.”

—Lee Williams, PhD, professor of marital and family therapy at the University of San Diego and co-author of Essential Assessment Skills for Couple and Family Therapists

“Williams and Kraft teach readers in a clear, compassionate, and concise way how to observe painful feelings as they arise. By learning how to tolerate and investigate their present-moment experiences, readers can stop harmful behaviors and make more valued life choices. This guide will be an essential addition to the library of anyone struggling with addiction and difficult emotions, and for all therapists who want to utilize an effective approach to help people live fuller, healthier lives.”

—Shoshana Shea, PhD, clinical psychologist focusing on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in San Diego

“The authors have created a tool that can benefit all people who are dealing with addictions. The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction integrates our best treatments for addiction and the emotional suffering that comes with it. This is a clear, step-by-step approach that will help readers move from trying (and failing) to avoid pain to living the life that they want to live, consistent with their values and free from the substance to which they are addicted. The focus on a nonjudgmental stance and acceptance of one’s self while also facing challenges and changing behaviors provides readers with the key tools needed to change their lives.”

—John R. McQuaid, PhD, associate chief of mental health at San Francisco VA Medical Center, professor of clinical psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and coauthor of Peaceful Mind

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608823406
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 130,117
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca E. Williams, PhD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in recovery from mental illness and addictions. She received her master’s degree from Harvard University and her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently the director of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System’s Wellness and Vocational Enrichment Clinic. In addition, she is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Diego, and coauthor of Couple Therapy for Alcoholism. She has a psychotherapy practice in San Diego, CA.

Julie S. Kraft, MA, received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She has provided counseling to veterans and their family members at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and has provided psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups in community settings. In her current position with Sharp HealthCare, she treats clients struggling with both addiction and mental health concerns. She lives and works in San Diego, CA.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Getting Started 2

Who Can This Book Help? 2

How to Use This Workbook 3

Part 1 Getting to Know the Main Concepts and Skills

1 Emotions 7

The "No Feeling" Contract 8

Loss and Emotion 8

Unraveling Your False Beliefs about Emotions 11

Emotion Dodging 15

Getting to Know Your Feelings 19

2 Thoughts 27

How Thoughts Connect to Emotions 27

Repeat-Offender Thoughts 29

Why Is Your Thinking Misleading? 36

Considering the Evidence 37

Distracting Thoughts 41

3 Behaviors 47

A Ghost Fleeing Bullets 47

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 48

Choosing the Opposite 51

Values 58

Learning More about Choosing the Opposite 64

Mindfulness 69

Observing Your Mind without Judgment 70

Imaginary Lions 71

Practicing Mindfulness 72

How to Breathe 75

Radical Acceptance 76

The Serenity Prayer 78

Fight, Flight, or FLOAT 79

Part 2 Looking at Your Losses

5 Loss 85

What Is Loss? 86

Why Look at Old Losses? 86

Taking a Look at Your Losses 88

Exploring the Impact of Your Losses 93

Connecting Your Losses 98

6 Addiction 103

What Is an Addiction? 104

Uncovering the Time Line of Your Addictive Behavior 115

Switching to Another Addiction 119

Journey to Wellness 119

7 Connecting Addiction and Loss 123

The Loss-Addiction Cycle 124

The Addiction and Loss Time Line 126

Loss Anniversaries 129

Part 3 Moving Forward

8 Mindful Grieving 141

Coping after a Loss 143

Nothing Works? 145

Radical Acceptance Revisited 148

Personal Resiliency 150

Grieving the Loss 151

Resiliency in Action 153

9 Relationships 155

Basic Communication Skills 157

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships 164

Healing Broken Relationships 168

Building a Healthy Social Support System 178

Managing Social Discomfort 180

Recovery, Relapse Prevention, and Beyond 185

Nutrition 186

Sleep 189

Fitness 192

Work 195

Fun 198

Resources for Your Journey 205

References 213

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Solid self help resource

    New Haringer resources can be a useful supplement to treatment for behavioral health problems; this book provides metaphors and exercises designed to help people recognize, identify, and manage diffcult emotional content that can trigger addictive behaviors.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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