Addiction and trauma 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 addiction and trauma 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. Now in a convenient large-size format, the revised edition features added materials for counselors. First edition title: Recovery from Trauma, Addiction, or Both.
“This is a terrific book. Lucid and eminently practical, it summarizes what Dr. Najavits has learned helps patients in over three decades of practice and research. Page upon page, she helps you confront what is going on inside of yourself. It’s a step-by-step road to recovery from the enslavement of trauma and addiction. This is the sort of book you put by your bedside to visit over and over again as a guide to dealing with numbing, addiction, the secrets 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
“In 13 years of recovery in AA, I often heard the refrain 'I never got the instruction manual on life.' Well, this book by Lisa Najavits might just be the only instruction book on recovery you’ll ever need! It shines with a fresh perspective, jargon-free writing, and vivid personal inspiration in an overpopulated field.”
—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
“In this remarkable book, Dr. Najavits speaks to diverse audiences in a way that is clear, practical, and deeply engaging. She offers an unflinching look at the challenges of working on trauma and addiction, while always conveying a message of hope. People struggling with either or both issues will find a path to improve their life. Professionals too can use this as a companion to therapy, allowing patients to extend their efforts through a flexible but carefully structured process.”
—Joan E. Zweben, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; staff psychologist, San Francisco VA Medical Center
“A welcome contribution. Dr. Najavits provides a comprehensive framework for recovery. She has woven her extensive clinical experience with 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
About the Author:
Lisa M. Najavits, PhD, is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and previously was on faculty at Harvard Medical School for 25 years and Boston University School of Medicine and the 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 Finding Your Best Self, Revised Edition: Recovery from Addiction, Trauma, or Both (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.