This newly updated and streamlined edition of Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations provides proven strategies for combating alcohol and drug addiction through group psychotherapy.
The interventions discussed in the book build on a foundation of addiction as an attachment disorder rooted in the understanding of addiction as a family disease. An appreciation of group and organizational dynamics is used to address the complex experience of developmental trauma that underlies addiction. Having identified the essential theoretical underpinnings of supporting recovery from addiction in Part One, the second half of the book gives a thorough nuts and bolts description of constructing a psychotherapy group and engaging productively in the successive phases of its development from initiation of treatment to termination. The book concludes with specific recommendations for group psychotherapists to increase their competence with groups, deepen their appreciation of group and organizational dynamics and develop a community of support for their own well-being.
These methods are important for psychotherapists working with addicted populations who are inexperienced with group psychotherapy as well as seasoned group psychotherapists wishing to enhance their work.
Part I: Theoretical Models 1. Addiction as an Attachment Disorder 2. Addiction is a Family Disease: An Attachment Theory Perspective 3. The Family is the Original Group: Group Relations and Addiction 4. Addiction is the Attempt to Maintain the Original Family: Trauma and its Re-enactment in Group Psychotherapy 5. Mutual Support is the Key to Constructing a Recovering Family: Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions 6. Addiction to Theory is the Group Psychotherapist’s Most Serious Resistance: Exposing the Blind Men and the Elephant Part II: Nuts and Bolts 7. Conception and Birth: Preparing a Group Member 8. Holding the Infant: The Opening Phase of Group Psychotherapy 9. Separation and Individuation: Rupture and Repair 10. Play and Adventure: Enabling Peer Support 11. Termination: Letting Go and Letting God 12. Preparation of the Group Psychotherapist
"Provides an enthusiastic, thoughtful, and clear endorsement of the effectiveness of group psychotherapy in the modern treatment of addiction. The brilliant use of metaphor and vignettes to explain complex phenomena aid greatly in understanding precisely how group is the best approach with this population. A must have and read for anyone in the field of addiction treatment."
Christopher Stewart, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Louisville School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry; Training Director, Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program
"Building on attachment theory and family dynamics, the authors describe an addictions-specific approach to group therapy, complementary with 12-step recovery and respectful of the offerings of multiple treatment approaches. Rather than ‘either-or,’ this volume offers a ‘yes, and’ perspective on how individuals find their recovery path within group frameworks. This volume has already made me a better clinician."
Fred Baurer, MD, Medical Director, Kirkbride Center
"What Yalom’s textbook on group psychotherapy is to the field of psychotherapy, Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations is sure to become to the field of working with addictions in group. The authors make a convincing case for understanding addictions as attachment disorders, and just as convincingly a case for the singular benefits of group treatment as an essential part of addiction treatment. This is the rare text that is essential for both beginning and advanced clinicians."
Gil Spielberg, PhD, AGPA-F, certified Group Psychotherapist and training and supervising Psychoanalyst
"This fourth edition of Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations brings up to date principles for conducting group therapy virtually in our post-covid world, addresses the issues of systemic racism and health inequity as they show up in groups, and importantly impresses upon the reader the importance of joy in the therapeutic group process."
Kimberly Dennis, MD, CEDS, nationally recognized expert on recovery from eating disorders; Co-Founder and Medical Director at SunCloud Health
"This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who deals with the family disease of addiction. The authors explain how the healing dynamics of group therapy may be integrated with the 12 step paradigm."
Michael O’Malley, MB, BCh, BAO, CCFP, FCFP
"Problems with substance use are described as a family problem, reflecting the need to address the dynamics in the person’s chosen family. The book draws from several knowledge bases including attachment theory to show how group experiences can be a powerful antidote to those challenges. The book relates theory as well as concrete guidance that would benefit anyone facilitating groups with people struggling with substance use."
Noah Lipton, LCSW, MPA, Implementation Specialist, New York State Psychiatric Institute
"Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations brilliantly elucidate the roots of addiction by illustrating the impact of the diseased family on the individual and skillfully characterizing addiction as an attachment disorder. They adeptly describe how the illness manifests in group and individual settings and most importantly, how the therapist can successfully navigate this therapeutically, making this book obligatory reading for all addiction providers."
Paige Marnell, MD, Medical Director, Magnolia Center for Addictive Disease
"Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations is an indispensable resource that sets the standard for substance use treatment in an easy-to-read work that will benefit clinicians of every skill level. It captures the intricacies of group psychotherapy, including the impact of modern culture and technology on mental health and the influence of virtual therapy platforms on the treatment of substance use disorders."
Ryan Drzewiecki, PsyD, LP, Chief Clinical Officer, Sierra Tucson
"Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations offers a breath of fresh air by holistic addressing the family disease. The authors are direct about the many barriers within the professional community to overcoming denial, trauma, professional ignorance, and narrowness of thinking which block more widespread progress in treating the family disease."
Tom Adams, MSW, executive and leadership transition consultant and writer on addiction recovery
"In clear-eyed, compelling, insightful prose, this book weaves together the major teachings of attachment theory, family systems theory, Freudian psychoanalysis, and the 12 Steps to make for a truly insightful magnum opus on the art and science of group process for addictions. The power of working in the ‘here and now’ as opposed to the ‘there and then,’ as well as the ways in which group dynamics are a re-enactment of dysfunctional family of origin dynamics support the emphasis on collective decision-making regarding group rules and boundaries. Current issues from COVID-19 to telehealth were woven into the discussion in relevant and helpful ways. This book is a must-read for anyone working in group therapy with persons recovering from addiction."
Anna Lembke, MD, professor of psychiatry and author of Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence.