Recovery from Trauma, Addiction, or Both: Strategies for Finding Your Best Self

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Lisa M Najavits

  • Recovery from Trauma, Addiction, or Both

277 pages
2017
ISBN: 9781462521982

Trauma and addiction are two of the most common and difficult issues that people face—but it truly is possible to heal. In this motivating book, leading expert Lisa Najavits explains the link between trauma and addiction and presents science-based self-help strategies that you can use no matter where you are in your recovery. Every chapter features inspiring words from people who have "been there," plus carefully designed reflection questions, exercises, and other practical tools. Learn how you can:

  • Build coping skills so that the future is better than the past.
  • Keep yourself safe and find support.
  • Set your own goals and make a plan to achieve them at your own pace.
  • Choose compassion over self-blame and shame.
  • Move toward your best self—the person you want to be.

Table of Contents

  1. Moving Forward from Trauma, Addiction, or Both
  2. Starting Out
  3. “Things Turn Out OK”—David's Experience
  4. It’s Medical: You’re Not Crazy, Lazy, or Bad
  5. How Do People Change?
  6. The World Is Your School
  7. Listen to Your Behavior
  8. Wish versus Reality
  9. Find Your Way
  10. Possible Selves
  11. The Language of Trauma and Addiction
  12. Safe Coping Skills
  13. Social Pain
  14. True Self-Compassion
  15. Why Trauma and Addiction Go Together
  16. Forgiving Yourself
  17. Body and Biology
  18. Getting to a Calm Place: The Skill of Grounding
  19. The Culture of Silence
  20. Motivation: Leverage One Problem to Help the Other
  21. Tip the Scales Recovery Plan
  22. Every Child Is a Detective
  23. How to Survive a Relapse
  24. See the Link
  25. Practice
  26. Identity: How You View Yourself
  27. Perception: How Others View You
  28. The Decision to Grow
  29. Dark Feelings: Rage, Hatred, Revenge, Bitterness
  30. Imagination
  31. Create a Healing Image
  32. Find a Good Counselor
  33. Two Types of Trauma Counseling
  34. What the Wounded Can Give Back
  35. “We Are All in the Gutter, but Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars”

Appendix A. How Others Can Help: Family, Friends, Partners, Sponsors, Counselors

Appendix B. Resources

Appendix C. Brief Quiz on Trauma and Addiction

References

List of Exercises

"In 13 years of recovery, I have often heard the refrain, 'I never got the instruction manual on life.' Well, here is the instruction manual on recovery--and if you're like me, it's just what you need! This book shines with a fresh perspective and vivid personal inspiration."
- Frank F., New York City

"A welcome contribution. Dr. Najavits provides a complete, practical framework for recovery. She has interwoven her extensive experience as a therapist and the voices of people in recovery to create a rich resource."
- Stephanie S. Covington, PhD, LCSW, author of A Woman's Way through the Twelve Steps

"This is a terrific book. Lucid and eminently practical, it summarizes what Dr. Najavits has learned helps patients in over three decades of practice and research. Page upon page, she helps you confront what is going on inside of yourself. It's a step-by-step road to recovery from the enslavement of trauma and addiction. This is the sort of book you put by your bedside to visit over and over again as a guide to dealing with numbing, addiction, the secrets you try to keep from yourself, and underlying issues. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."
- Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD, author of The Body Keeps the Score

"If you are struggling with trauma, addiction, or both, this wonderful book provides a path to improve your life. Dr. Najavits offers an unflinching look at the challenges, while always conveying a message of hope."
- Joan E. Zweben, PhD, Executive Director, East Bay Community Recovery Project, Oakland, California

"Many times in AA (or 'the rooms'), I have heard someone say, 'It's the language of the heart; what comes from the heart reaches the heart.' This work exemplifies that thought while also staying true to itself with structure and advice for addicts and trauma survivors. But more than going through the steps of recovery, Dr. Najavits shows how to do so with dignity and pride in what you may accomplish. I never felt alone while reading this book."
- David T., Washington, DC