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Research

The ‘Lifecycle’ of Addiction and Recovery

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Whether you have an addiction problem, care about someone with an addiction problem or even if you work with people who have addiction problems, I think it helps to step back for a minute and understand how this problem and it’s recovery unfolds. It’s too easy to get blinkered, judgemental of ourselves and others, and […]


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Does a longer stay help?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

How long should someone stay in Rehab? This depends on so many things, how many problems are being treated, how intense they are and so on. Some people come to stay for a brief respite and others stay longer so it’s interesting to know if there is any evidence for different benefits for different lengths […]


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Helping Patients Suffering from Trauma using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Introduction to EMDR The precise neural mechanism for how eye movements affect emotional status is unclear, but the fact is they do. It is almost as though a broad view of the horizon from left to right, and right to left also helps the mind to place events within the broader context, or for both […]


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Hope for Depressed Addicts

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Not so long ago Alcoholics Anonymous was regarded with condescension by many professionals working in the addiction field. A common view was that science-based techniques, like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) had made the Anonymous Fellowships seem like a quaint and outmoded quasi-religious cult. At the same time, there were encouraging signs of scientific method being […]


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‘Natural Recovery’ from Addiction: Implications for Treatment

Monday, October 15th, 2012

‘Natural recovery’ is a term used to describe recovery from addiction without the help of professionals. It’s a term that rather implies there’s something unnatural about the professional or even AA route. However, other terms that have been used are also problematic, given that they all embody an explanation of the phenomenon that is open to question. For example, Tuchfield (1981) was one of the first to describe what he called “spontaneous recovery”, although the recovery his alcohol dependent respondents described were generally the product of a sense of shame that had grown over a long period of time, even if the ultimate decision was sudden.


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Self-licensing: A Route to Addiction

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

A couple of weeks ago (16th August, on BBC3; “Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery”),  Russell Brand launched a hard-hitting attack on conventional approaches to drug addiction: first, he lambasted the view of right wing tabloid commentators who favour the view that addicts recklessly and freely abuse drugs, and could as easily choose differently. And […]


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Treatment of Drug Addiction: When is it successful?

Monday, June 11th, 2012

When can we say that treatment of drug addiction has been successful? The problem of deciding what constitutes success, or even improvement has generated heated debate between therapists, most notably in the past between 12-steps, psychoanalytic and behavioural enthusiasts. It has also divided policy makers. Those who favour prevention and environmental control are sceptical of […]


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