1st Edition

Psychotherapy of Addicted Persons

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ISBN 9780898621167
Published October 20, 1994 by Guilford Press
232 Pages

USD $49.00

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Book Description

For many practitioners, sifting through the diverse and complex methods available for treating substance abusers can be just as daunting as working with the addict. Drawing on over 30 years of experience, Edward Kaufman has developed a pragmatic approach to treatment that systematically integrates techniques from a variety of influences--from object relations and cognitive-behavioral therapy to structural family therapy and the Twelve-Step movement. Covering the myriad problems encountered with alcoholics and addicts, he presents a workable approach that can be utilized by a broad audience of therapists at varying levels of training in psychotherapy and/or substance abuse.

Each of the chapters provides the details necessary for understanding and treating the substance abuser with psychodynamic therapy. The book outlines the personality and psychopathology of addicted persons, taking into account psychodynamic theory, codependent patterns, and risk factors that may predispose individuals to substance abuse. Recognizing the gender specificity of certain issues, the book then describes topics relevant to addicted women, with discussion of personality traits, gender-specific considerations for psychotherapy, feminist therapy, and how women fare in Twelve-Step groups. A chapter on defense mechanisms focuses on denial, projection, and rationalization, and another chapter describes the three most common personality disorders among addicted persons--antisocial, narcissistic, and borderline.

Illustrating the approach with case histories, the author describes his three-phase psychotherapeutic method. The first phase--assessment to abstinence--involves evaluation, motivation, detoxification, incorporating the family and social network, developing a method for abstinence, and delineating a workable treatment contract. The second phase--early recovery (sobriety)--focuses on methods for helping an abuser remain drug and alcohol free. Relapse prevention strategies and a variety of coping methods are outlined, and methods are presented for teaching abusers to recognize situations that may provoke their use of drugs, the reasons for relapse, and the psychodynamics of their addictions. Finally, the third phase--advanced recovery (intimacy and autonomy)--addresses such issues as the ability to love in an intimate way, self-sufficiency in work and creativity, and the development of relaxing, pleasurable leisure skills.

The therapist's role in transference and countertransference, and the substantial value of interactional methods to create change, particularly in clients with personality disorders, are examined. The book's final chapters focus on the integration of group and family therapy with the proposed individual therapy model. A phase-related model of group therapy is presented, and multiple-family and couples groups are discussed, with a synthesis of several family therapy approaches that emphasize structural and psychodynamic family techniques.

Valuable to a wide audience of mental health professionals working with substance abusers, this book will help the addiction therapist to utilize psychodynamic constructs more effectively, and the psychotherapist to incorporate the tools of such programs as Alcoholics Anonymous. It is also ideal as a primary text or supplemental reading for courses dealing with the treatment of substance abuse.



Edward Kaufman, M.D., is Medical Director for Chemical Dependency Services at Capistrano by the Sea Hospital in Dana Point, California. He is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine and co-editor of Family Therapy of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.


"Kaufman's sophistication as a therapist shines through particularly in his presentation of the clinical material in such a way that issues not easily conveyed in "how-to" language, such as tact, timing of interpretation and respect for the working alliance, are nevertheless made clear.... This volume represents an important clinical contribution to the field." --Daniel S. Keller, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, New York University School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.

"This volume is particularly valuable because it combines a wonderful command of psychodynamic, cognitive, and family therapy and the addiction treatment literature with practical solutions to the problems of treating patients with addiction disorders." --Richard J. Frances, M.D., director of the Department of Psychiatry at Hackensack Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ

"This is a wonderful book: comprehensive, clear, nonjudgmental, and usable. Edward Kaufman has bridged all the disciplines,--chemical dependence, mental health, and Alcoholics Anonymous--combining the simple and the complex, to give us a solid theoretical and practical text for helping people with substance abuse. This book represents decades of wisdom translated into practical interventions. It should be required for all treatment professionals, beginning and advanced." --Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., Director of The Addictions Institute, Menlo Park, California, Co-Director of The Family Recovery Project at the Mental Research Institute

"Psychotherapy of Addicted Persons is a welcome addition to the literature of substance abuse treatment. Edward Kaufman, M.D., makes good use of his extraordinarily broad background and has written an excellent guide to psychotherapy for substance abusers that will serve therapists, counselors, and clinicians from different disciplines and in a variety of treatment settings." --Mitchell S. Rosenthal, M.D., President, Phoenix House Foundation, and Chairman, New York State Advisory Council on Substance Abuse

"An important and creative contribution to the treatment of substance abuse! Dr. Kaufman combines a deep understanding of the psychology of addicts with great insight into the process of dynamic psychotherapy. The clarity of his presentation makes this synthesis suitable to the therapist who is new to substance abuse treatment, while valuable to the practiced clinician as well." --Marc Galanter, M.D., Director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and Professor of Psychiatry, NYU Medical Center

"...provides a comprehensive discussion of the dynamics, assessment and treatment of persons with substance use disorders....I recently used this book as a text for an entry level addiction course at the graduate level in social work. I found it quite helpful in addressing the two major points I wanted to convey: that psychodynamic psychotherapy is valuable in the treatment of addiction, and that it is possible and useful to integrate psychotherapy into a patient's 12 step recovery." --Janet H. Levine, LICSW