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

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Oxford University Press, Jun 13, 2002 - Psychology - 320 pages
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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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The soul of recovery: uncovering the spiritual dimension in the treatment of addictions

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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 ... Read full review

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Addictions Spiritual Solutions and the Insights of Alcoholics Anonymous
The Middle Class and Mainstream Treatment
Womens Treatment Womens Spirituality
Native American Treatment and Indian Spirituality
Measuring Results Measuring the Soul Science and the Spirit
Our God No God Religious Methods and Secular Approaches
Harm Reduction Challenging Tradition on the Street with Transcendence
Treating HardCore Addicts From Secular Practicality to Practical Spirituality in Therapeutic Communities
The Recovery Movement Recovering God Recovering Self
FaithBased Solutions in a Democracy

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About the author (2002)

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

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