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

Our Price $ 48.00  
Retail Value $ 50.00  
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Item Number 160155  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.6" Width: 6.46" Height: 1.13"
Weight:   1.37 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 13, 2002
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0195147685  
EAN  9780195147681  

Availability  112 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 04:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
"Ringwald's book is a paradigm shifter, his clear presentation, and extraordinary research can't help but have the reader "thinking outside the box." If anyone is questioning the role that faith plays in the life of an addict this book is for you." --Counselor Magazine 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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More About Christopher D. Ringwald

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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 or by phone at (518) 292-1727

Christopher D. Ringwald has an academic affiliation as follows - The Sage Colleges in Albany.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Recovery > Drug Dependency   [536  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Recovery > Substance Abuse   [1085  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Recovery > Twelve-Step Programs   [129  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The real deal on Addiction Recovery  Feb 28, 2003
As a recovering alcoholic and addict for 19 years and a professional worker in the field for 16 years, this book was so refreshing to read. Most people who work with addicts will tell you that until they achieve some sort of "spiritual experience" often through a faith based program such as AA, NA, etc. they never achieve long-term contented abstinence. Even though the author is outside the field of addiction and is primarily a journalist, he does an astonishing job of surfacing the issues that are the "elephant in the living room" of addiction treatment and recovery. With all due respect to the medical and psychological research and literature, none of it speaks as clearly as this book about what "causes" recovery from addiction.
San Francisco Chronicle review  Jan 10, 2003
...In his recent book, "The Soul of Recovery: Uncovering the Spiritual Dimension in the Treatment of Addictions," journalist Christopher Ringwald takes a sober and well-documented look at some of the unquestioned claims of the burgeoning recovery movement.

Many recovering addicts say they felt a "spiritual emptiness" or a "God- sized hole" in their souls and tried to fill it with alcohol or other drugs.

"The drug distorts clear thought and often makes the person feel ecstatic, invulnerable, godlike," Ringwald writes. "Then, in the final throes of an addiction, counselors and addicts report, life condenses to a self-centered round of getting, using, and recuperating before starting over."


What makes "The Soul of Recovery" (Oxford University Press, 2002) stand out from the pack is the way Ringwald approaches the recovery movement as a journalist, not as an evangelist or protagonist. He understands the power of spirituality in treating substance abuse, yet still asks some hard questions about the wisdom handed down from "Bill W." and "Dr. Bob."

Ringwald, who covers legal issues for Newsday, devotes a chapter to another treatment philosophy called "harm reduction," which, unlike AA, does not see total abstinence as the only way.

Counselors in this faction say that "abstinence for many merely increases the luster of the forbidden fruit."

"When certain alcoholics relapse even slightly, their remorse can be so severe -- thanks to the lessons about 'one drink will get you drunk' -- that they go on a tear to blot out the shame."

Ringwald cites studies showing that many nonabstinent alcoholics can reduce their consumption substantially by being taught how to moderate their behavior,

or by alternating between periods of abstention and drinking.

This kind of thinking challenges the medical model of the for-profit recovery industry, where total abstinence is seen as a kind of First Commandment.

"Harm reduction challenges the most basic of substance abuse treatment assumptions: the disease concept," Ringwald writes. "Whether advocates say so or not, their emphasis on resolving conditions -- poverty, housing or other illness -- first, rather than halting the drug abuse, argues for alcoholism or addiction having some origins outside the person."

In the end, Ringwald notes that the two camps really want the same thing -- to create a social environment where addicts have more to live for than the next fix. Both treatment styles seek to change addicts' spirit by connecting them with something larger than themselves.



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