Cover image for The heart of addiction
The heart of addiction
Dodes, Lance M.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 257 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC565 .D597 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The Heart of Addiction, based on more than twenty-five years of clinical practice by distinguished psychiatrist Dr. Lance Dodes, presents a radical approach to understanding and harnessing the emotional forces that drive addictions.

Alcoholism and other addictions are among the most important problems we face in our society. Yet, if you look beyond pat ideas about their cause, such as "alcoholism is a disease," nobody has really had an answer for why people with addictive behaviors continue to repeat them in the face of their awful consequences. This book offers an answer to the core "Why?" question of alcoholism and other addictions.

Dr. Dodes sets out to change the way completely we treat alcoholism and other addictions, including compulsive gambling and sexual addiction. He describes how all addictions have at their heart certain emotional/ psychological factors that, once understood, can be successfully managed. He shows how these factors can be turned to good use to find exactly what alternatives will work for you as an individual. Filled with compelling case studies, Dr Dodes provides the keys to mastering addictions and answers the critical questions: Why do we feel the impulse? Why do we feel it when we do? How can we find what else to do in that critical moment?

This book provides the chance for you to do what so many of Dr. Dodes's patients have done: use this new understanding and the practical tools that flow from it to take back control of your lives.

Among the myths that Dr. Dodes debunks:

Addiction is fundamentally a physical problem. Addiction is best treated in twelve-step programs. People with addictions are different from other people. People with addictions are self-destructive. You have to hit bottom before you can get well. You are wasting your time if you ask "why" you have an addiction

Author Notes

Lance Dodes, M.D., a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, where he is a member of the Division on Addictions. He is also the Director of the Boston Center for Problem Gambling. He has served as the director of the alcoholism and substance abuse treatment unit of Harvard's McLean Hospital, and as the director of the alcoholism unit at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (now part of Massachusetts General Hospital). He is also on the faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, where he teaches courses in compulsive and addictive behavior. Dodes's work has been published in many professional journals

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Dodes is a psychoanalyst with considerable therapeutic experience with alcoholism, gambling, and other addictions, and he offers a compelling new approach to them. The problem behavior--the betting, the drinking, and so on--is seen by many as not the crucial element in addiction. Addicts have feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, and the rage at these feelings is what drives the addiction: it is energy redirected to a substitute action. Relief comes not from the drink or the bet but from the decision to drink or bet. Dodes cites many case histories illustrating this displacement and how a patient's realization of it can lead to control and power. "No addiction is fundamentally motivated by a search for pleasure," Dodes says, and furthermore, addiction isn't a disease. Exploding many other misconceptions about addiction, Dodes stresses that each addict must be treated separately and that the causes of helplessness vary greatly. He counsels how to select a good therapist and advises that much in this book can be used by addiction sufferers in handling their problems. --William Beatty

Library Journal Review

In a study based on 25 years of professional practice, clinical psychiatrist Dodes (Harvard Medical Sch.) shares his refreshingly new insights into treating addictive behaviors. Rebuffing shallow explanations of these problems (such as categorizing addictions as diseases), Dodes instead explains the emotional underpinnings of addictive behaviors, revealing that they are preceded by feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. Working with addictive behaviors is one of the most difficult challenges faced in the helping professions, and, as the author frankly states, efforts are further hindered by the classic myths of addictions, including the notion that people are addicted to the things that are addictive and that "addicts" should always be treated by someone who also has the addiction. Filled with realistic case examples, this new approach challenges the prevalent thinking in professional practice while explaining why people feel an impulse to engage in unproductive addictive behavior and what they can do about it. Highly recommended for counselors, psychiatrists, and university libraries supporting helping profession curriculums. Dale Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Time for a Changep. 1
2 The Man Who Had No Timep. 10
3 A Good Womanp. 26
4 The Secret Generalp. 41
5 I Have to Do Somethingp. 54
6 Hooked by the Mind: Physical and Psychological Addictionp. 69
7 The Genetics of Alcoholismp. 80
8 Myths of Addictionp. 91
9 When Is Abuse Not Addiction?p. 103
10 The Internet, Shopping, Exercise: How Can You Tell If It Is an Addiction?p. 116
11 Efforts to Understandp. 130
12 Puzzling Casesp. 141
13 Teensp. 153
14 Couplesp. 168
15 When Are Compulsions Addictions?p. 181
16 The Victors and the Vanquished: Compulsive Gamblingp. 195
17 Sexual Addictionp. 210
18 Treatmentp. 224
Notesp. 243
Indexp. 249