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addictions, addiction recovery, substance abuse, Twelve Steps, AA for atheists, addiction history, addiction causes
The Addiction Recovery Handbook
Understanding Addiction and Culture and Creating a Prosperous Human Spirit
Richard W. Clark
What Richard Clark presents in The Addiction Recovery Handbook: Understanding Addiction and Culture is long overdue. Since 1939, Bill Wilson’s important and influential books, Alcoholics Anonymous and AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, have helped millions of people struggling with addiction to recover. In more than 80 years since then, a lot has changed: the definition of addiction, its demographics, social attitudes to addiction, politics, religious influence, treatment modalities, and the epidemiology of the illness. These have taken tolls on our modern network of relationships and treatment that culture and community now depend upon.
The Addiction Recovery Handbook examines the changing historical views of addiction, outlines how this culture developed its contemporary perceptions and values, and how society contributes to this growing problem. Richard Clark proposes AA’s traditional religious model of God’s help-and-forgiveness can no longer address the needs of a diverse and largely irreligious society where atheism is becoming mainstream. His updated analysis of the traditional ‘AA’ approach proposes that self-understanding and awareness—through knowledge and education, psychology, and compassion, be the significant components of any recovery framework.
This will guide both caregivers and addicts to develop expertise regarding more successful treatment and recovery protocols. This would be in a supportive environment of self-knowledge and mutual respect, whether theist or atheist. All concerned will acquire the ability to live a spiritual life, which is clearly defined.
The Addiction Recovery Handbook is an interesting and readable book and is intended for everyone: addicts, medical professionals, counsellors, therapists, clients, sponsors, social workers, family members, partners, friends, employers—every stakeholder in a healthy, non-judgmental society that cares about the wellbeing of all its members.
Richard Clark is an addiction counsellor with an internationally recognized Canadian certification (CACII). He also holds certificates in group therapy and university-level Adult Education. He has been in private practice since 1984 as a counsellor, consultant, therapist, and educator, with a special interest in resolving addiction, relationship conflict, and healing trauma (such as PTSD) through a combination of talk therapy, addiction recovery, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Self-Regulating Therapy (SRT).
In addition to the field of addictions, Richard has given seminars internationally on sexuality, communications, family violence, spirituality, atheism, relationships, applied problem solving, religion, Buddhism, counseling, therapy, and energy psychology. He has shared his knowledge with over 90,000 people. His work has taken him to Russia, the United States, Canada, England, Israel, Ukraine, and China. He has offered his expertise within Corrections Canada, prisons in the USA, recovery facilities, treatment centers, First Nations, and private industry. He lives near Vancouver, British Columbia, where he enjoys making music with his collection of guitars.
Books by Richard W. Clark:
Addictions and Getting Recovered, The Myths and Realities of Twelve Step Programs. (Out of print.) This is being edited and updated into a second edition to be published in 2020 by FriesenPress.
Spiritual Transformation: An In-depth Examination of Addictions, Culture, Relationships, and the Twelve-Step Journey from Addicted to Recovered, Friesen Press, Third Edition (2017).
Body Energy Healing: A Training Manual
The Addiction Recovery Handbook: Understanding Addiction and Culture and Creating a Prosperous Human Spirit (Recovery for Theists and Atheists) 2020).
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