Books on Addiction: The 5 Best Books to Read Before Rehab
Healing the Child Within by Charlie Whitfield, Ph.D. Many people suffer from unresolved trauma and loss. If you have been self-soothing with drugs or alcohol, in recovery you have to connect with the part of you that may feel small, incapable, needy, hurt and lost. The inner child is part of everyone’s psychological makeup, the part of individuals that is vulnerable and is still hurting from pains of the past. This book shows how embracing the inner child allows healing to begin and gives people tools for learning to care for and parent themselves.
Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woititz. This is one of the classic books on addiction. Adult children of alcoholics and addicts make up the largest number of people who are hurt by the disease of addiction. Were you one of those millions of people who grew up in an alcoholic household or in the midst of the chaos and despair due to other addictions? The author explains the unique dynamics of growing up in a family trying to survive the dysfunction that can impact you as an adult. Having an addicted parent changes the course of a life and this book points to the way it may have impacted you, and how to heal from childhood trauma.
Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw. Shameful feelings can grow into a debilitating condition and part of recovery is to get out of the grips of shame by understanding how it holds you. This book looks at toxic shame as a core issue underlying compulsion and helps you understand how it can lead to addiction, codependency and other issues. Shame can keep individuals and families stuck. The author shares affirmations, visualizations and guided meditations.
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff, Ph.D. Everyone beats themselves up sometimes but for people with addictions, shame and guilt are dominating emotions. These overwhelming feelings may even stop you from asking for help. This book explores the way shame gets reactivated by one’s regrets and looks at ways to reduce self-criticism and related behaviors. It’s not just about self-esteem. This approach encourages finding true compassion for yourself ― no matter what. This may not be among drug addiction books, but it has an important message for those entering recovery.
Heartwounds by Tian Dayton. Early childhood trauma can lead to disruption in family relationships and can impact you for the rest of your life. Dealing with these issues is part of a healthy recovery. The pain is relived in adult relationships and patterns are repeated. This book looks at the ways in which you may have been hurt, and how you continue to act out that pain. It also casts a hopeful eye toward healing relationships and creating empowering new ones by viewing relationships in a new light — as a way to grow and transform, even from the deepest wounds.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Self-Compassion in the Face of Body Image Dissatisfaction
Mindful Self-Compassion Program, Study