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Research

People getting a ‘fit of the vapers’ over Vaping

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

I have been interested to see the difference in approach to vaping between America and the UK right now. Last week the British medical research journal ‘The Lancet’ published a review of the evidence around vaping and declared vaping to be “the most disruptive influence on smoking in decades”. They found the harms to be […]


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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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Lets be more careful with the language we use to describe addiction problems

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

In this last couple of years, I have seen Dr John Kelly speak a few times and I am always impressed with what he has to say. I want to share a few ideas he has brought up and to begin with, I’d like to share his ideas about the language we use to describe […]


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Antidepressant effectiveness rated

Monday, February 26th, 2018

This week a research study was published in the medical journal “The Lancet” which aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of many different antidepressants. This wasn’t new research per say, but a huge study of lots of published and unpublished papers.


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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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PROMIS Research in Progress: Some early findings

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Some 7 months ago, following the start of my work as Director of Research, PROMIS agreed to conduct an experimental trial of new interventions based on proven practices that have emerged within the broad framework of the Positive Psychology movement (Peterson, 2007). Our intervention programme has been carefully designed in consultation with the VIA Institute on Character (University of Pennsylvania, and will be introduced shortly when staff training has been completed.

In the meantime we have been gathering the information that will be required to conduct a controlled evaluation of the intervention following its incorporation into the PROMIS Programme. Some interesting findings have already emerged, and I would like briefly to give the flavour of the kind of things we are discovering, in relation to just two small aspects of our ‘benchmark’ studies of clients at PROMIS, prior to implementation of the experimental intervention.


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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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