The Positive Psychology of Meaning and Addiction Recovery
This is a rare collection of papers by leading authorities on addiction recovery. The distinguished list of contributors includes Alan Marlatt, George Vaillant, Stanton Peele, Jaak Panksepp, and Scott Tonigan. Although each represents different theoretical perspectives of addiction and recovery, all see recovery as more than mere abstinence. The first half of this book contains addresses from the Fourth International Meaning Conference, which focused on meaning and addiction. The second half of this volume uniquely focuses on the positive psychology of meaning and spirituality as an answer for addiction. The existential dilemmas of meaninglessness, boredom, and anxieties often trigger cravings for substance abuse. Geoffrey Thompson and Paul T. P. Wong articulate that only a personally meaningful life is powerful enough to overcome addictive cravings and satisfy the deep-seated human yearnings for happiness and meaning. Ken Hart connects the spiritual underpinnings of Alcoholics Anonymous to the New Thought movement and transpersonal psychology. This edited volume offers practical resources not only for addiction counselors and treatment centers, but also for college and university professors who teach addiction studies. Instead of focusing on coping skills and cognitive-behavioral strategies, a holistic approach emphasizes fulfilling the human needs for well-being, meaningful living, and self-transcendence. This book is transformative, renewing a sense of aliveness and community from the deadness of addiction. -Brent Potter, PhD, author, Elements of Self-Destruction This bracing volume offers an open-minded and open-hearted exploration of many key issues touching addiction and its treatment, from grief and loss to meaning and spirituality. It ranges far beyond the narrow and limiting confines of the usual reductionist perspectives. -Gabor Mate, MD, author, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction Perhaps one of the most important additions in years in the literature on the intersection between existential and positive psychology, and its application for substance abuse disorders. -Alexander Batthyany, PhD, International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein; University of Vienna; Director, Viktor Frankl Institute, Austria; principal editor, Collected Works of Viktor Frankl (14 volumes).