Item description for Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction by Thomas Bien...
Overview In Mindful Recovery, you'll discover a fresh and effective method for healing from addiction that can help you handle important challenges, from managing anxiety and resisting cravings to dealing with emotional and physical imbalance. Drawing on both ancient spiritual wisdom and the authors' extensive clinical psychological work with their patients over many years, Mindful Recovery shows you how to use the simple Buddhist practice of mindfulness to be aware of-- and enjoy-- life in the present moment without the need to enhance or avoid experience with addictive behaviors. Mindful Recovery guides you step by step through ten powerful ""doorways"" to mindful recovery, giving you specific strategies that can help you cultivate a sense of calm awareness and balance in your life. Filled with personal stories of recovery, practical exercises, instructions for meditation, and more, Mindful Recovery accompanies you on a journey of exploration and healing that will help you find the strength and the tools to change, leading you to a fresh new experience of everyday living.
Publishers Description This wise book provides practical exercises that will help us to develop conscious awareness and inner understanding, and the ways and means to free us from unsatisfying habits, addictions, and unconscious behavior patterns. I recommend it highly. --Lama Surya Das, author of the bestselling Awakening the Buddha Within ""Anyone interested in finding a kind, spiritual guide to recovery that focuses on flexibility rather than the 'one true way' will benefit from this enjoyable and helpful book."" --Maia Szalavitz, coauthor with Joseph Volpicelli, M.D., of Recovery Options: The Complete Guide In Mindful Recovery, you'll discover a fresh and effective method for healing from addiction that can help you handle important challenges, from managing anxiety and resisting cravings to dealing with emotional and physical imbalance. Drawing on both ancient spiritual wisdom and the authors' extensive clinical psychological work with their patients over many years, Mindful Recovery shows you how to use the simple Buddhist practice of mindfulness to be aware of-- and enjoy-- life in the present moment without the need to enhance or avoid experience with addictive behaviors. Mindful Recovery guides you step by step through ten powerful ""doorways"" to mindful recovery, giving you specific strategies that can help you cultivate a sense of calm awareness and balance in your life. Filled with personal stories of recovery, practical exercises, instructions for meditation, and more, Mindful Recovery accompanies you on a journey of exploration and healing that will help you find the strength and the tools to change, leading you to a fresh new experience of everyday living.
Citations And Professional Reviews Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction by Thomas Bien has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 07/15/2002
Library Journal - 07/01/2002 page 103
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Apr 4, 2002
ISBN 0471442615 ISBN13 9780471442615
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas Bien
THOMAS BIEN, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and public speaker with experience running workshops, lectures, and seminars on addiction and spirituality. BEVERLY BIEN, M.Ed., is the executive director of La Vida Felicidad, an agency that provides services to people with disabilities; she co-leads the workshops, lectures, and seminars on addiction and spirituality with Thomas Bien. She holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. Visit the authors' Web site at mindfulpsychology.com.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction?
Non totalitarian, very wise, aproach to addiction and related issues Jun 14, 2008
This book is the best I have read on dealing with recovery from alcohol and addiction. I have read most of the classic works in this field including AA's "The Big Book," Albert Ellis's book "When AA doesn't Work for you," "Sober For Good....." and work as a volunteer group facilitator for SMART Recovery, a self help group based on Ellis's REBT and Cognitive Psychology that has an astounding success rate in a very short time span.
The book is very sensitively written, and contains much wisdom and practices on dealing with this devastating social, psychological epidemic, which is spreading rapidly due to the increasingly stressful aspects of modern life. I particularly liked what the author says about the importance of living in the movement and the 9 doors of recovery.
There is a westernized, non-religious, Buddhist ideological foundation based on compassion, mindfulness, and living an authentic life in the "NOW." However, unlike the largely Christian based AA (which is the proverbial 1200 pound gorilla in this field, and has helped millions of people), this isn't "in your face" religious like the majority o 12 step initiatives: you can take or leave the "Buddhist Element" and get a lot out of this book. Also, unlike AA/NA, this doesn't take an "all or nothing approach." and doesn't deem the person experiencing these problems "powerless" or having a lifetime disease.
Nevertheless, AA is very effective in dealing with people at all stages of the addiction recovery cycle, while this work is really more appropriate for people in a post abstinence phase and in preventing relapse- although it does give "some" credence to the highly controversial moderation maintenance approach for people with less severe cases of this affliction. Bien, also, gives an excellent portrayal of Diclemete's Stages of Change model for addiction and recovery, and, as I stated originally, is perhaps the most insightful contemporary book (AA started in the 1930's)for a mass audience in this domain. Also, Ellis, before his passing last year, was rumored to be working on a book linking cognitive (in his case rebt) thought and mindfulness, a noble and, perhaps, necessary global synthesis. Finally, I know my statements could draw some ire from AA diehards, where I think that their general inability to tolerate criticism, like some world religions, is one of their greatest weaknesses.
Worth Your Time Nov 10, 2006
This is definitely a book worth reading, whether you are dealing with your own addiction (of any kind) or if someone you know is. It is written from a "spiritual" perspective, though not spiritual in the sense of any one particular religious or philosophical tradition. For example, the author looks for inspiration from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.
Thomas Bien writes in a gentle, understanding and encouraging tone. This is one of those books that can be picked up and read a few pages at a time, from any point. It is worth your time and money.
Clinicians and those in recovery Nov 4, 2006
An excellent book with a good line into spirituality for those with an aversion to organized religion. Those working in the recovery often have a block thown up when trying to get a client to release his/her preconceived ideas about manipulating the environment. This book provides an excellent approach toward the concept of spirituality as a separate entity from religious beliefs without impinging on them.
More than a recovery book Sep 11, 2005
This book uses Buddhist philosophy integrated with Western science to help readers discover and define meaning and purpose in life. It's not only a book about overcoming addiction, but can help anyone to find a more fulfilling way of life.
A flexible, integrated approach to overcoming addiction... Feb 9, 2004
Mindful recovery is a book that focuses on maintaining your abstinence from any addiction, once you have made the decision to quit: "...if you can build a happy, fulfilling, meaningful life, relapse will be much less of an issue." It's a flexible approach to recovery based on facing life with an attitude of acceptance, rather than running away from life through an addiction.
I love how Thomas and Beverly Bien integrated the spiritual concepts of the East with the more scientific ideas found in psychology: "While our approach is rooted in Eastern traditions of mindfulness...The West has its own approaches to mindfulness. Journaling, narrative psychology, insight-oriented psychotherapy, relationship work, and dream analysis...we present a blend of Eastern and Western wisdom." They also briefly touch upon the fallacy of black and white thinking, borrowed from cognitive styles of recovery. In ten "doorways," this book presents many little essays that elaborate on these themes through quotes, personal stories, and practical applications. By the time you finish this book, you will have a full understanding of mindfulness and how to use it to free yourself from addiction.
Mindful recovery, however, has a potential negative: the reader can easily become overwhelmed by the myriad of "Practices" the authors have developed to explore mindfulness in every capacity - work, relationships, dreams, and the like. The "Practices" seem to be endless. But the authors wisely predict this: "...having so many tools can also seem a little overwhelming - as though you had a lot of things to do and remember. It isn't so. Whenever you feel this way...remind yourself that there is really only one thing to remember and it is the simplest thing of all: to be mindful, to be aware."
I also strongly agree with their paradigm of change. It's a process of six stages, borrowed from James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, who co-authored Changing for Good. And it's empowering, because their notion allows for relapse with a mentality of acceptance and learning: "...most people do go through these stages several times before establishing permanent change. For this reason, it is equally important to be able to view a slip...as a temporary setback rather than ultimate failure."
At the heart of this book are the practices of meditation and journaling. Regardless of how many Practices mentioned throughout the book, these two are definitely the twin pillars that support mindfulness. They are simple, flexible, and easy to implement in your life.
I highly recommend this book. Just make sure to stay on course with the simplicity of mindfulness, and let your intuition guide you as to how to implement it into your life.