Sunday, January 10, 2010

Treatment Journal Reviews Empowering Your Sober Self

The current issue of Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly contains a review of my book Empowering Your Sober Self.  The reviewer, who is none other than the distinguished scholar William L. White (Slaying the Dragon and other works), writes, in conclusion:

Nicolaus offers us a clear window into the basic approach of LifeRing Secular Recovery, one of the major secular alternatives to AA. LifeRing was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999 and became a national organization at a founding conference in Florida in 2001. LifeRing hosts face-to-face recovery support meetings, a range of e-mail lists for member- to-member communication, online (, chat rooms and Internet forum (bulletin board), an online social network (, LifeRing social events, and the annual LifeRing Congress.
In Empower Your Sober Self, Nicolaus has created an engaging text for individuals seeking recovery and for service professionals wanting a greater understanding of LifeRing’s core ideas and recovery support strategies. Empower Your Sober Self also includes the voices of many LifeRing members whose personal stories illustrate key points in the book.
 The discussions in this book include some of the more controversial issues in the addictions field. Nicolaus outlines positions on these issues clearly and forcefully and in ways that help distinguish LifeRing Secular Recovery from 12-step programs and from other 12-step alternatives. This book is intended to inform rather than convert. Not everyone will agree with the ideas and approaches set forth here, but for the past decade, individuals and families have used LifeRing Secular Recovery as an effective framework to initiate and maintain long-term recovery from life-impairing addictions. Those recoveries are cause for celebration, and this book details how they did it. Those seeking a solution to alcohol and other drug problems and professionals assisting people with such problems will find great value in Empower Your Sober Self.

This strikes me as a fair and even-handed assessment and I'm grateful to the writer.  It's also a good sign that the journal, which goes to the more research-minded echelons of the treatment profession and to academics, has taken note of this book.  Hopefully, the review -- and the book, for those who will read it -- will persuade a larger number of treatment professionals to include LifeRing meetings in their referral pool.

For a PDF copy of the complete review, click here.

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