Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches by Miller and Hester.

Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches by Miller and Hester.

I have been meaning,to put this book, (and a few others!) on the site for some time, but as I only have a very, limited amount of time to work on this it has not happened until now. I feel the “Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches” is one of the most important books in existence on the subject of addiction and alcoholism, and should be read by everybody who is thinking of working in the addiction field. You owe it to your clients to have a good knowledge of a variety of treatment techniques, and not just a support group like AA, which has some very enthusiastic members but has only limited appeal to many searching for a solution. AA certainly does not suit everyone. I find many people claiming to be counsellors, on online forums, really only believe in the solution that has worked for them, if they have suffered and recovered from addiction. Many of these people seem pretty useless to me, and have little understanding of what solutions are available. (I had my best treatment from people who had never been addicted).

I first came across the book when it was mentioned in Stanton Peele’s writing. Stanton really helped me change my approach to recovery, to one that suited me, rather than one that conformed to the teachings of AA. He mentioned it in the context of how effective AA is a method of treatment, which most people would probably wrongly assume is the number one solution, for beating alcoholism. I was rather surprised that 12 Step facilitation was at number 37 and AA was number 38.

I tend to look at AA as only a support group myself, but in fairness it is used as part of many rehabs treatment programmes and so it is correct that it is included here.

Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Approaches

The most effective methods of beating alcoholism are listed as:

1. Brief Interventions

2. Motivational Enhancement

3. Community Reinforcement

4. Self-change Manual

5. Naltraxone

6. Behavioral Self-Control

7. Behaviour Contracting

8. Social Skills Training

9. Maritial Therapy- Behavioural

10. Aversive Therapy

11. Case Management

12. Cognitive Therapy


27. Group Counseling


36. Minnesota Model Treatment

37. 12 Step Facilitation

38. AA


47. Alcoholism Counseling

Different Methods for different people.

The book also attempts to match different types of people to different types of treatment which is really important. It is obvious that becoming deeply involved in a popular group such as AA has helped many people, even though it does not appear to have a better success rate than no treatment. People in some groups use this as “evidence” that AA has no value, but you have to take into account, that most people who join AA will have tried and failed to have stopped on their own, before they joined AA, and so it is of value to some.

There are lots of studies and statistics which back up the findings in the book, which treatment providers should find interesting. The book is not really aimed at somebody such as myself, but I actually found it fascinating. I have no intention of ever working in the treatment industry, but do wish to be aware of all options in recovery that could help me.

There are interesting sections on the merits of moderation for some people as well as statistics about binge drinking after relapse, and what type of support can help that. The main thing I concluded from all this is that one size does not fit all, and an individual in recovery, should look and try many of the different solutions out there and hopefully find a path that helps them.

You can buy it here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handbook-Alcoholism-Treatment-Approaches-Hardcover/dp/B00BR5LKQ0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1415374827&sr=8-2&keywords=Handbook+of+Alcoholism+Treatment+Approaches+by+Miller+and+Hester.

It is an expensive book but is full of research, but sadly I expect many in the treatment industry ignore books such as this and rely on anecdotal evidence about the effectiveness of methods such as AA.


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