Books & Reviews
An Integral Foundation for Addiction Treatment: Beyond the Biopsychosocial Model (Integral Publishers)
It is rare to find a thoughtful and scholarly blend of theoretical astuteness and clinical wisdom in a single book about addiction. The author accomplishes this goal by the skillful application of integral theory as a framework for understanding addiction and its treatment. An Integral Foundation of Addiction Treatment belongs on the shelf of every psychotherapist who treats addiction or is interested in the topic.
- Philip J. Flores, Ph.D., ABPP, author of Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations and Addiction as an Attachment Disorder.
An Integral Foundation for Addiction Treatment is a brilliant overview of a truly integral or comprehensive approach to what has now become a crisis level epidemic in America (and indeed, much of the world). The great difficulty, up to this point, is that there are several different existing approaches to addiction and its treatment, and unfortunately none of them have worked nearly as well as it was hoped they would. This has left the field facing an epidemic with no agreed upon solution.
Guy du Plessis takes one of the most comprehensive metatheories now in existence—that of Integral Metatheory—and shows how it can indeed integrate and synthesize virtually every major approach to addiction now existing. The immediate benefit of such a far-reaching approach is a direct application to actual cases of addiction itself, and wherever this has been tried so far, the results are astonishingly effective.
This book is for, first of all, either those who treat, or those who suffer from, a specific type of addiction. Guy walks us through a clear, easy to understand, step by step introduction to each of the major areas of addiction and its treatment, as well as demonstrates how this Integral approach draws together all of the hard-earned wisdom generated by each of the various schools of treatment—except now, all of this wisdom is brought to bear on each individual case, and not just a partial amount of it offered by any conventional, limited approach. And thus, second of all, this book is for anybody who simply wants to deepen their own self-understanding. To understand addiction in depth is to understand every major component of being human, because virtually every one of them is open to invasion by addictive dysfunction—and accordingly this means actually understanding oneself in general, top to bottom, and that is what this Integral approach offers (and thus among other things, it ties together Western forms of Growing Up with Eastern forms of Waking Up and therapeutic forms of Cleaning Up).
In short, this book is a thorough introduction to the major dimensions of your own being and awareness—many of which you very likely don’t even know exist—and hence shows how you can bring a truly wise and compassionate understanding to “all of you.” Highly recommended!
- Ken Wilber - Author of Integral Psychology
Integral Recovery pioneer, Guy du Plessis, single-handedly proves in this monumental volume that moving into and through addiction recovery—whether personally or professionally or both—does not require the sacrifice of one’s faculties for critical thinking. To the contrary, in fact, what is implicit throughout Du Plessis’ incredibly keen and nuanced analysis is a requirement that, when face-to-face with addiction’s enslavement of so many, one must think both solidly and in-depth. In that spirit, Du Plessis provides us a carefully constructed, metatheoretical framework for both critiquing, and incorporating the best of, virtually every major perspective on both addiction and recovery.
What a relief, as but one example, to read so clear an articulation of how that which may rightly serve the recovering addict at one stage of his/her healing journey may be quite contraindicated, or at least be in need of significant supplementation, at a later stage. Sad to say, a not uncommon “one sizes fits all” mentality (Plato’s part/whole error, which mistakes one correct “part” for the “whole” territory) pervades the world of addiction recovery. Hence, addicts in sincere search for truly individualized help turn away, and often perish, owing to the limitations of being forced to rely on any one given approach. The Persian poet, Rumi, puts it well: “What is honey to one is poison to another.”
Du Plessis, in his thoroughly integral embrace, here at last provides all of us—recovering addicts and/or those who work with us—a roadmap sufficient to the complexity inherent in addiction…which really is to say, to the complexity inherent in being human. For anyone seeking a sound intellectual basis for navigating the real-life challenges at hand in addiction and recovery, there simply is no better place to begin than with Du Plessis’ latest stroke of compassionate genius.
- Robert Weathers, Ph.D., California Southern University
For those interested in deepening their understanding of the treatment of addictive disorders, this book offers a wisdom and depth I have not encountered elsewhere in the literature. Du Plessis offers the reader a comprehensive and in-depth critique of the various theoretical models used in the treatment of addiction. He then offers us his own approach, one that integrates developmental, biological, social, and psychological frameworks necessary to the successful treatment of addictions. For recovery to be successful, he states that on-going attention to relapse prevention must occur, and this involves treating the whole person. Toward that end Du Plessis has created a brilliant model that he calls an “Integrated Recovery Program”. I would call it a comprehensive roadmap for those engaging in the treatment of addictions. His approach identifies six recovery dimensions, all of which are necessary components of a sustainable, long-term recovery process. The beauty and elegance of this model is that it provides a quantifiable and accountable recovery structure, where both client and therapist “plan and gage the complex recovery process”. In addition, Du Plessis stresses the importance of attending to existential and spiritual underpinning that often drive the addict’s search for meaning and purpose. This book is must read for all clinicians, regardless of your clinical orientation or area of specialization.
- Patricia Gianotti, Psy.D., Academic Director of the Wayne Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy, and co-author of Listening with Purpose, and Uncovering the Resilient Core.
Guy du Plessis' latest offering proves once again he is one of the leading minds in the field of addiction treatment in the world today. An Integral Foundation for Addiction is timely, concise and a welcome breath of fresh air to a field desperate for new perspectives. It is my hope that it becomes required reading for anyone attempting to fully understand the scourge of addiction in all its complexity.
- Adam Gorman, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Guy Du Plessis has written an important book. This book serves not only as a brilliant addition to the growing library of integral literature and thought, but also as a beam of light into the arcane and esoteric domain of academic literature about addiction and its treatment. True to the prime dictum of integral theory and practice, Du Plessis speaks the language of his academic audience, but like a dancing Wu Li master he blurs the surface of things and leads us to clarity and depth—every deconstruction is a reconstruction, and every seeming dark cul de sac a new doorway that leads to the what and the why and the how and then the where to now and beyond, to the lofty mountain tops of our true human potential and capacities.
- John Dupuy, M.A., author of Integral Recovery
Guy du Plessis offers a novel and interesting contribution…one that could make significant difference to the lives of people working to overcome addiction to find new meaning and purpose in their lives.
- Mark Edwards, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Jönköping University, Sweden, and author of Organizational Transformation for Sustainability: An Integral Metatheory
Du Plessis states that “attempting to understand and successfully treat addiction is a forbiddingly complex topic and endeavour” and that “addiction, in its myriad forms, presents one of the foremost and mounting threats to the well-being of modern society”. “Definitional confusion and the ineffectiveness of treatment” are “two of the foremost problems in the field”. Reasons for this include that many disciplines are involved and that their understanding and application are fragmented. The author reviews the theories about addiction and then attempts to provide an integration for these divergent conceptions of addiction by using the metatheory and metaphysical philosophical concepts of Ken Wilber. The Wilberian integral approach classifies these as ‘AQAL’ - All Quadrants, All Levels, All Lines, All States, and All Types. These are illustrated by diagrams and figures of which the author has developed several to illustrate aspects of addiction.This book will appeal to those who subscribe to this particular (Wilberian) integral approach, which has not broken into mainstream thinking or practice.
- J. P Van Niekerk, Ph.D.,Emeritus Professor UCT, Editor South African Medical Journal, and past Dean Faculty of Health Sciences UCT
This book is a remarkable effort that is deemed to be an influential chapter in our understanding of addiction and its management. It is a voyage through philosophy, science and clinical practice — a pure genius piece of work. It is an essential reading for everyone working in the addiction field. It is guaranteed you will never think of addiction as you did before reading this monumental work.
- Ahmed Yousif Ali, Ph.D., Psychiatrist, National Rehabilitation Center, Abu Dhabi. Excerpt from a review article
I read and re-read Guy du Plessis’ challenging and fascinating book “An Integral Foundation for Addiction Treatment” and had the experience of concepts coming in and out of focus as objects may appear and disappear in the headlights of a car making its way along a road into an unknown landscape…There is ambition and hope in Guy’s book. Most importantly this book has the intention of being a guiding light in the field of addiction science with the ultimate goal of saving lives where too many have been lost.
- Alisa Ray, Shining Light into the Darkness of Addiction. Excerpt from a review article
Download the press release for An Integral Foundation for Addiction Treatment
An Integral Guide to Recovery: Twelve Steps and Beyond (Integral Publishers)
(Amazon #1 Bestseller in Foreign Language Books, Germany, in the categories of Drug Abuse and Twelve-Step Programs)
Guy du Plessis has given us a very important book, a terrific example of how to apply the Integral framework to the process of recovery, thus insuring us that the approach will be more comprehensive, inclusive, and therefore effective. Recommended for therapists and clients alike!
- Ken Wilber, American Integral philosopher and author of more than a dozen books including Integral Psychology.
An Integral Guide to Recovery offers the reader a path of recovery beyond mere abstinence from addiction, but to live their best life. Following the straight forward defined structure in the book provides the reader with a truly comprehensive and sustainable recovery map. A must read.
- Stanley H. Block, MD, adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is the cofounder of Mind-Body Bridging and co-author of several books including Come to Your Senses.
Guy du Plessis’ book is heartbreaking, brilliant, and visionary, and provides a vastly practical guide to an Integral approach to recovery. A journey through the life-crushing despair and darkness of addiction to the light of life redeemed and the Self awakened. This book deserves its place in the emerging canon of Integral literature, and is a must-read for anyone interested in recovery, both personal and collective: a road map to recovery in the 21st century.
- John Dupuy, M.A., author of Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction.
Guy du Plessis does a wonderful job of contributing an Integral perspective to the 12-step traditions—the oldest and certainly among the most powerful ways to treat addiction. This book is highly accessible but never simplistic. In your author, you have one of the true pioneers and best guides in how to bring Integral into our healing. Use this book to broaden your horizons and open up whole new dimensions in what you thought recovery could be and how you can assist others with it.
- Mark Forman, PhD., Licensed Psychologist, Author of A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy.
What a rare gift to find an author in psychology who combines both carefully honed intellectual erudition with a vulnerable heart opened by life circumstance. Philosopher of science Michael Polanyi famously articulated the need for more open acknowledgment of the radical value inherent in “personal knowledge” --- the drawing together of subjective depth with objective definition. Integral theory pioneer Ken Wilber --- upon whom our author here, Guy du Plessis, draws so heavily --- offered a companion call for the necessity of combining personal authenticity as depth dimension alongside legitimacy, or the ability to communicate effectively to the person on the street. Suffice it to say that my dear and esteemed friend and colleague, Guy, well accomplishes these preceding directives. His mind and research are formidable and exhaustive, respectively. Yet it is the rooting of those very forces right down in the “smithy of the soul,” Guy’s own, which lends this current contribution such significance in the world of psychology. Psychology, writ large, surely must be inclusive of spirituality (even if critical of it); as well as healing (as in the addiction/recovery literature and attendant movements). Too often, I believe, psychology writers reduce away spirituality, on the one hand; or uncritically bypass psychological grounding in favor of moving too quickly, too facilely, into offering healing, on the other hand. Guy skillfully and tactfully avoids either extreme here. He gives full attention to a thoughtful, non-reductionistic interaction with resources from the spiritual and existential domains, while simultaneously bringing a richly balanced psychological perspective (aided by his brilliant and incisive thinking process) to incorporating as broad as imaginable an embrace of all that heals, specifically in addiction and recovery. My guess is that many who are fortunate enough to read Guy’s gift of a book here will themselves already be persuaded of the immense value in perceiving, intervening, and simply living integrally. However, it is my fondest wish that his book might also reach across into the minds and hearts of those who know addiction from the inside out; who long for a truly and soundly more holistic view, grounded in critical inquiry; and who have the courage to allow this new, powerful voice --- Guy’s --- to touch and transform them and the work they do. I bow to this good man’s incredible generosity of mind and soul in bringing to the streets a message that has been waiting far too long. Consider yourself blessed.
- Robert Weathers, PhD., Curriculum Developer California Southern University
Download the 28-day Workbook for An Integral Guide to Recovery
Opioids In South Africa: Towards a Policy of Harm Reduction (Human Sciences Research Council Press South Africa)
From over-the-counter cough syrups and prescribed painkillers to street economies of heroin and fentanyl, opioid substances and uses have ignited global debates about national drug policy reform. This book is the first to focus on these issues in South Africa, through a range of disciplinary perspectives. In twelve chapters, scholars from community medicine, pharmacology, social science and the humanities, along with civic actors and researchers, present their evidence-based arguments and insights, and explore possibilities for harm reduction approaches in South Africa. Chapters cover three core areas: dilemmas of drug policy; contradictions of care and treatment; and the issue of stigma. Opioids in South Africa invites wider conversation, asking us to imagine policy responses that can better protect the constitutional dignity, health and access to healthcare of people using drugs as well as of their families and communities.
I am a contributing author of Opioids in South Africa: Towards a Policy of Harm Reduction and wrote the chapter 10 'Incompatible Knots' in Harm Reduction: A Philosophical Analysis'
Thembisa Waetjen and the authors are to be congratulated for 11 fascinating chapters. The book encourages the reader to re-think opioids and their users and the ways in which to reduce harm that people using opioids face in South Africa.
- Daniella Millar and Caradee Wright. Book review for the South African Journal of Science
Current Approaches in Addiction Psychology (Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
While it has been well documented that the subject of addiction psychology has an important place in the literature, various studies and research, especially in recent years, have shown that it is necessary to deal with the issue of addiction in an interdisciplinary context. This volume responds to this need, discussing addiction within the frameworks of psychology, health sciences and forensic sciences. It notes that results obtained through the collaboration of disciplines and application areas such as forensic sciences and medicine within the framework of psychology will enable academics and professionals develop a common ground and meet on it.
I am a contributing author to Current Approaches in Addiction Psychology published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing and wrote the chapter 2 "The Integrated Metatheoretical Model of Addiction."
Resilient Mind Skills Workbook (Utah State University)
I would highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with ruminative thoughts about self-worth, or individuals with a compulsive drive to compete or win at all costs, or for those individuals who tend to hold perfectionistic standards toward self or others. These personality characteristics comprise internalized values and beliefs that often lead to repeated cycles of disappointment, frustration, or inhibition. This workbook provides very useful tools to help break free of repeated patterns, and it opens opportunities to discover increased resilience and sense of well-being. I would also recommend this book to therapists who might wish to use this workbook as a compliment to their therapeutic work with clients. Finally, this book would be of particularly interest to adolescents and college-age students who are in the process of forming their values, work ethic, and their approach to life and life’s challenges.
– Patricia Gianotti, PsyD, Academic Director, The Wayne Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy, Loyola University Chicago. Co-author of the books Listening with Purpose: Entry Points into Shame and Narcissistic Vulnerability and Uncovering the Resilient Core: A Workbook on the Treatment of Narcissistic Defenses, Shame, and Emerging Authenticity.
Mind-Body Workbook for Addiction: Effective Tools for Substance-Abuse Recovery (New Harbinger)
As a clinical psychologist working in the addiction field, I see, every day, the glaring need for effective tools for my clients to avoid relapse. Mind-Body Workbook for Addiction is the resource addiction professionals have been waiting for. It explains relapse as the complex behavior it is, and offers simple yet brilliant explanations and exercises to not only understand cravings, but also combat them. It is my hope that this book becomes part of every treatment center’s approach to preparing their clients for lifelong sobriety.
- Adam Gorman, PsyD, clinical psychologist, Albany, NY
- John Dupuy, MA, author of Integral Recovery
- Patrick McKiernan PhD, clinical director of Certified Counseling Services, Louisville, KY
- Peter D. Farr, MD, DABFM, medical director of addiction medicine at Dearborn County Hospital in Lawrenceburg, IN, and member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine
- Davelyn V. Vidrine, PhD, LCSW
Social Unrest: Resolving the Dichotomies of You/Me and Us/Them (Utah State University)
The timeliness of this book cannot be overstated, as evident in the two major opposing forces which impact our world at present: on the one hand, strife, destruction and dehumanizing alienation and, on the other, an emerging shift in consciousness (philosophical, psychological, theological and spiritual) towards nonduality and the essential relatedness of everything and everyone. Drawing from quantum theory and evidence-based research, the Blocks have expanded their highly effective I-System Model to address social dysfunction(s) in small (e.g. a marriage), medial (e.g. corporations and nations), and global dimensions. This is not, however, an intellectual treatise but an experientially accessible path which holds great promise for effective interventions with social systems of all sizes. Therefore, I would highly recommend this work for therapists working with a marriage and family focus, for organizational consultants working in both corporate and institutional contexts, and for anyone trying to make our world a more humane and just place to be.
- Davelyn V. Virdine, PhD, MDiv, LCSW
The depth of the context and description of contributing factors for Social Unrest described in this manuscript places this book at a level far beyond other attempts. Albert Einstein stated that “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.This book offers a higher level of thinking in addressing current societal problems. This book offers a unique approach towards global transformation and various other social challenges.
- Rona Newmark, PhD
Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke by Thomas Bertram Lance is an apt note for this book. We as human beings are inherently whole and undamaged. We have, however, a tendency to get off track, when our I-Systems become overactive as do groups and organizations. Stanley Block and his co-writers offer a consistent, evidence-based model, which I would call an overarching holonic model from individuals to groups to organizations to nations to the world. They provide multiple Mind-Body Bridging approaches for removing obstacles to access all our resources, to provide what I would call mindspace.
- Keijo Halinen, MSc
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