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THE HEART OF ADDICTION offers a new way to think about and control addictive behaviour. Dodes rejects pat explanations of alcoholism as a disease and instead explores the underlying emotions that drive addictive behaviours. In his practice and research, Dodes has found that virtually every addictive act is preceded by a feeling of helplessness or powerlessness. The addictive behaviour--be it drinking, gambling, or obsessive sex--serves to repair this feeling. The paradox is that the out of control behaviour actually gives the addict a sense of being empowered or in control - but that the addiction is a substitute for some other, more useful response. With compassion and deep understanding, Dodes provides readers with the keys to mastering their addiction by helping them uncover: why they feel the impulse, why they feel it when they do, and what they can do to address the emotional needs in another way.
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In a study based on 25 years of professional practice, clinical psychiatrist Dodes (Harvard Medical Sch.) shares his refreshingly new insights into treating addictive behaviors. Rebuffing shallow explanations of these problems (such as categorizing addictions as diseases), Dodes instead explains the emotional underpinnings of addictive behaviors, revealing that they are preceded by feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. Working with addictive behaviors is one of the most difficult challenges faced in the helping professions, and, as the author frankly states, efforts are further hindered by the classic myths of addictions, including the notion that people are addicted to the things that are addictive and that "addicts" should always be treated by someone who also has the addiction. Filled with realistic case examples, this new approach challenges the prevalent thinking in professional practice while explaining why people feel an impulse to engage in unproductive addictive behavior and what they can do about it. Highly recommended for counselors, psychiatrists, and university libraries supporting helping profession curriculums. Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

In a field rife with misinformation, this book represents a bright beacon of light... I recommend it wholeheartedly. --The Psychoanalytic Quarterly"

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