The Soul of Recovery

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

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It is common knowledge that for most alcoholics and addicts recovery programmes like AA seem to hold out the best hope of conquering their addiction. Most of us also know that such programmes usually stress reliance on some sort of "higher power". This book shows that in fact spiritual development is the central factor in the recovery of a significant percentage of substance abusers, and that spirituality is the lynchpin of many if not most recovery programmes in this country. Journalist Christopher Ringwald visited many treatment centres and interviewed hundreds of recovering alcoholics and addicts, counsellors, and family members, many of whose voices are heard in this book. Ringwald's purpose was to find out just how spirituality figures in the individual's recovery and how it is deployed by the treatment programmes. He explores the differences among a wide range of programmes : 12-step, Christian, Muslim, Native American, and those based in Eastern religions. Vividly written and thoroughly researched, this book is the first to focus on this intruiging phenomenon-an all but hidden, yet thriving new spiritual movement in our more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195147685
  • 9780195147681

Review quote

"An impressive, straightforward synthesis of diverse and controversial issues."--Library Journal"An encouraging, well-researched book on an important topic."--Publishers Weekly"A sober and well-documented look at some of the unquestioned claims of the burgeoning recovery movement. What makes 'The Soul of Recovery' 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."--San Francisco Chronicle"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"An articulate and extremely well-reported exploration of how nurturing spiritual beliefs can help addicts recover. As such, The Soul to Recovery is a much-needed and welcome antidote to the prevailing medical paradigm that chalks up troubled human behavior to 'abnormal brain chemistry, ' amenable to a pharmaceutical solution. Ringwald shows that the paths to addiction are many, and that the most successful treatment programs are those that help heal the mind and soul."--Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill"The unqualified best among recent 'recovery' books. Eminently readable."--Ernest Kurtz, Historian"The Soul of Recovery captures beautifully the role of spirituality in the treatment and recovery of people with addictions. Not only is it immensely informative, but the writing style is captivating, passionate and powerful."--Harold G. Koenig, co-author of the Handbook of Religion and Healthshow more

About Christopher Ringwald

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) 292-1727show more

Table of contents

1. Addictions and Spiritual Solutions ; 2. Mainstream Treatment and the Middle Class ; 3. Women's Treatment, Women's Spirituality ; 4. Native Americans in Treatment and Indian Spirituality ; 5. Measuring Results, Measuring the Soul: Science and the Spirit ; 6. No God, Our God: Secular Approaches and Religious Methods ; 7. Harm Reduction: Challenging Tradition on the Street ; 8. Treating Hard-Core Addicts: From Secular Practicality to Practical Spirituality in Therapeutic Communities ; 9. The Recovery Movement: A New Religion or a New Openness ; 10. Faith-Based Solutions in a Democracyshow more

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6 ratings
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