Below are books that we recommend for individuals. We have broken them up by category and will be regularly updating them with more books that we find useful.
First, we love Anne Fletcher. As a person who is engaged, curious, funny and in touch with her humanity and all the vulnerability that comes along with it.
Second, we love her books. Sober for Good has helped many of our clients see the multiple paths through their pain and struggle with substance use. This new book helps shed light on the world of treatment that they may or may not face as they decide to tackle their problem.
Third, we love the challenge she has laid out to the addiction treatment world. Will treatment programs change and incorporate the evidence?! We believe her curiosity and willingness to challenge the system will help people ask the right questions as they embark on the path to change. Unfortunately, we hear many of the stories in Anne’s book time and again.
To read more about our take on this book click here.
From the introduction chapter in the book:
Many people drink alcohol, and most of them never experience serious harm or problems from doing it. Many others, however, do find at some point in their lives that their drinking is becoming risky or creating problems, and so they decide to cut down or quit. Some find that they need help to do so and seek professional consultation or attend mutual-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Many others cut down or quit drinking on their own.
Perhaps you’re reading this book because you wonder whether you’re drinking too much and ought to cut back. Problems related to drinking rarely spring up overnight, but rather build up gradually over a period of months or years. Often family members or others become concerned well before the drinker him- or herself does. Judging from our four decades of research, if you (or a loved one) are wondering whether you might be drinking too much, there is probably good reason for concern.
This book provides step-by-step guidance for deciding how much you will drink and then for reaching your chosen goal. The research-tested methods that we offer here are the best we know to help you moderate your drinking. We also offer suggestions for how to proceed if you find you have difficulty maintaining moderation, including the option of not consuming alcohol at all.
From Chocolate to Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs
Quick and easy review (although with a little bias around some issues and some drugs) of how drugs of all kinds effect the body and the brain.
This book is a fast read and provides a good history of every substance we humans have ever used or abused! Also, makes the point that there are many substances (like sugar and caffeine) that are not typically thought of as “drugs” that can be very problematic for people. The authors drives home the point that the ultimate issue is our “relationship” with a substance is what really matters…it can be a healthy relationship or not. In making that point, they give good information on why some substances are more difficult to manage in a “healthy” way than others and make good suggestions about how to establish healthy habits with your body and brains’ well-being in mind.
Lots of handy information about the brain (it’s structure, chemistry, purpose) and how it can keep changing with the right attention and care. Sections are devoted to the effects of drugs and alcohol as well as other behaviors.
Also good descriptions of the power of habit as experienced by the brain.
This can be a motivating book that can help you feel empowered to take care of and nurture your brain and gives good suggestions about how to do it.
Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide
A book that has been around a while (published in 1995), and for good reason! It is a well-organized, quick review of CBT principles as they address almost every problem imaginable (substance use, anxiety, depression, marital problems, insomnia, managing attention, body-mind balance, etc.). It does not go deep and is just a review, but can give you hope that there are ways to address almost anything using cognitive-behavioral strategies.
Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder
One of the best introductions to ADHD that one can buy.
We recommend this to both clients and their families as it provides vivid examples on how ADHD can effect the course of one’s life. To this end, it illuminates the effect of ADHD on all areas of a life (sex, self-esteem, work choices, self-care), not just that of school and work performance. Also full of good suggestions about how to manage problem, with or without psychotropic medications.
Answers to common questions about the diagnosis, treatment and management of ADHD. It is written as a question answer dialogue with the authors, so can be a bit difficult at times to get through, but offers practical advice throughout.
This is a lovely personal account of a woman who embarks on a mission to assess and address her increasingly problematic relationship with alcohol. Written in a relatable way and easy to digest, she illustrates some of the very common quandaries someone in our society must contend with when alcohol is a frequent accompaniment to social gatherings, celebrations, and managing feelings.
She nicely describes her process throughout – from becoming more concerned and doing research into what is “normal” and what not, through stopping drinking (including both the up and downsides), to finding some actual peace with her decisions and her relationship with her feelings.
A sweet, funny portrayal of all the many steps one needs to take in order to change.
Mindfulness In Plain English
This book explains a lot about meditation…what it is, what it isn’t, why do it, and how to do it.
This book, by Sharon Salzburg, provides a brief intro to mindfulness … and then outlines a 4 week structure for daily practice. The book comes along with an audio CD so that you could listen to meditations based on the structure she outlines.