Author(s): Lisa M. Najavits
Leading trauma and addiction specialist Lisa Najavits (creator of the evidence-based Seeking Safety treatment model) has trained thousands of therapists in innovative techniques to help people heal and reclaim their lives. Now she puts an array of science-based self-help strategies directly in the hands of readers. This motivating book is packed with compassionate stories and carefully designed reflection questions, exercises, and other practical tools. Dr. Najavits explains the links between trauma and addiction and guides people experiencing either (or both) to make meaningful changes. Each concise chapter offers practical ideas that readers will return to again and again to keep themselves safe while building skills for coping with painful past events--and finding a brighter way forward. Mental health professionals, see also the author's Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse, which presents an evidence-based treatment approach developed specifically for PTSD and substance abuse.
"In this lucid and eminently practical book, Dr. Najavits summarizes what she has learned helps her patients over three decades of practice and research. Page after page, she helps you confront what is going on inside yourself, and offers step-by-step roads to recovery from the enslavement of trauma and addictions. This is the sort of book you put by your bedside and visit over and over again as a guide to dealing with numbing, addiction, the secrets that 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 "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 "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 "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 "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
Lisa M. Najavits, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She was previously on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for 25 years and Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System for 12 years. She is author of over 180 publications, including the books Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse (for mental health professionals) and Recovery from Trauma, Addiction, or Both: Strategies for Finding Your Best Self (for general readers). She is Director of Treatment Innovations, which conducts research and training related to mental health and addiction. Dr. Najavits serves on the boards of numerous journals, including the Journal of Traumatic Stress, Journal of Gambling Studies, Journal of Dual Diagnosis, and Psychological Trauma, and has received awards including the Betty Ford Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, the Emerging Leadership Award from the Committee on Women in Psychology of the American Psychological Association, the Early Career Contribution Award from the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and the Young Professional Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She also served as president of the Society of Addiction Psychology of the American Psychological Association. Her major clinical and research interests include addiction, trauma, co-occurring disorders, community-based care, veterans' mental health, development of new counseling models, and clinical trials research. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Massachusetts.
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