© 2007

Promoting Self-Change From Addictive Behaviors

Practical Implications for Policy, Prevention, and Treatment

  • Harald Klingemann
  • Linda Carter Sobell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Gallus Bischof, Ulrich John
    Pages 73-85
  3. José Luis Carballo, José Ramón Fernández-Hermida, Roberto Secades-Villa, Linda Carter Sobell, Mariam Dum, Olaya García-Rodríguez
    Pages 87-101
  4. Stephanie Flöter, Christoph Kröger, Tony Toneatto, Jachen C. Nett, Janet Polivy, Jukka-Pekka Takala et al.
    Pages 102-149
  5. Linda Carter Sobell, Mark B. Sobell
    Pages 163-186
  6. Judith C. Barker, Geoffrey Hunt
    Pages 213-237
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 257-259

About this book


Many are addicted. Few are treated. Yet many who are not treated recover. Promoting Self-Change from Addictive Behaviors examines natural recovery as a clinical phenomenon, a field of inquiry, and a vital component of therapy. It also brings clinicians and counselors to a new understanding of addiction and recovery.

One of the few books on the topic, this volume offers alternatives to disease models of addiction by exploring personal pathways to recovery. Focusing on alcohol and drug problems, it provides a literature review of 40 years of studies on self-change with particular emphasis on the current decade and methodological issues (starting with how much or how little treatment constitutes "treatment"). The 24 experts keep the coverage consistently readable, and dozens of brief narratives from individuals who have successfully recovered from an addictive behavior without formal help lend valuable personal perspectives.

More of the book’s key features:

  • Core factors in self-change, from cognitive processes to social issues
  • Case examples of natural recovery from smoking, binge eating, problem gambling, and criminal behavior
  • Redefining the role of treatment in changing addictive behaviors
  • Cross-cultural, community, and prevention perspectives on promoting self-change
  • "Self-change toolbox" chapter offering assessment tools, recovery strategies, web links, and other online resources

With Promoting Self-Change from Addictive Behaviors, health care professionals and researchers (from psychologists and social workers to nurses, sociologists, and physicians) can find more effective methods to fit client needs, and develop new insights into the recovery process. Public health workers and policymakers will also find informative strategies for tapping this rich therapeutic resource.


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Editors and affiliations

  • Harald Klingemann
    • 1
  • Linda Carter Sobell
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

About the editors

Dr. Harald Klingemann studied at Cologne University (Germany) where he received the degree of Doctor of Economics and Social Sciences. He has taught at the University of Bonn, where he was a senior researcher in criminology, and has been Research Director at the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems (SIPA) (Lausanne). He is currently the Research Director of the Swiss Consortium for Alcohol Treatment Research and project director at the Substance Use Disorders Research Department of the University of Zurich (SUD). His main research interests include the cross cultural analysis of treatment systems and the natural history of alcohol and heroin use for which he received the honorary doctor of the University of Stockholm in 2003. He has published about 100 articles and four books. He has served as temporary advisor for WHO Geneva and on several editorial boards. He is currently involved as PI in projects on controlled drinking as well as gender specific treatment needs and masculinity

Dr. Linda Carter Sobell is Professor at Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She is nationally and internationally known for her clinical research in the addiction field, particularly brief motivational interventions, natural recovery, and the Timeline Follow-up. She has received several awards, given over 200 invited presentations/workshops and published over 250 articles book chapters, and 7 books, and serves on several editorial boards. She is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, is a Motivational Interviewing Trainer (MINT) and holds a Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. She is past President of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy and the Society of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Public Health


From the reviews:

"This discussion of how individuals recover from additive behaviors using self-change strategies delves into what actually constitutes ‘treatment,’ and how addicted people have recovered on their own without a formal program. … It is intended for use as a reference by researchers, healthcare practitioners, public health specialists, and alcohol and drug policy makers." (Gary B. Kaniuk, Doody's Review Service, February, 2008)

"... a landmark in the field of addiction research. ... Appeal[s] to researchers and practitioners alike, stimulating thoughts about processes of change that can be examined in research and utilized in practice. ... This book is destined to become a classic...." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, July 23, 2008, Vol. 53, Release 30)

"This volume offers a comprehensive view of the halting and somewhat circuitous path that led to our current understanding of self-change from all types of addictive behaviors. The editors are pioneers in the invesrigarion of this phenomenon of self-change among individuals with serious drug and alcohol problems in multiple countries and continents. ...a wonderfully rich compendium of the stare of the science of self-change. ...As with any good book, this one leaves this reader wishing for more ....many different audiences can benefit from reading this book." (the Behavior Therapist, January 2010, Carlo C. DiClemente, Unit'ersity afMaryland, Baltimore)