Human existence can be beset by a variety of negative mental states such that life seems devoid of meaning, but it can also be liberated—a meaningful life reclaimed and savored through cultivation of a higher kind of mind. This quality, mindfulness, refers to both a set of contemplative practices and certain distinct psychological states and traits, and it can be cultivated through intentional effort and training.
In Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement for Addiction, Stress, and Pain, written by Eric L. Garland and published by NASW Press, presents an innovative program of intervention that can be put into practice by therapists working with people struggling with addiction and the conditions that underlie it. Unlike other substance abuse treatment modalities, which focus largely on relapse prevention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) concentrates on helping people to recover a sense of meaning and fulfillment in everyday life, embracing its pleasures and pain without avoiding challenges by turning to substance use.
Eric L. Garland is the developer of MORE; he is the assistant director of the Trinity Institute for Addictions, and assistant professor at Florida State University College of Social Work. He has a broad background in clinical research, with specific training and expertise in the design of randomized controlled trials of mindfulness-based interventions and biobehavioral protocols. His life’s work is grounded in the existential philosophy that people have the power to transcend and transform their limitations into opportunities for growth and well-being.
Along with chapters on the biopsychosocial model underlying MORE and the current state of research on mindfulness, this book includes a complete treatment manual laying out for clinicians, step by step, how to run MORE groups—including adaptations to address chronic pain and prescription opioid misuse— and enhance the holistic recovery process for people striving to overcome addiction. Furthermore, the book contains nine “Client Handouts” on mindfulness and its use as a therapeutic technique.
Matthew Owen Howard, PhD, Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says:
This book is a ground-breaking new contribution addiction treatment literature. Dr. Garland, a licensed clinical social worker with more than a decade of experience in delivering evidence-based interventions based on contemporary cognitive-affective neuroscience, offers a clearly articulated 10-session model for intervening with substance-dependent clients. The treatment approach presented in this book is inexpensive, research-based, broadly applicable to substance-dependent people of all types, and readily adopted by student and experienced practitioners alike. I strongly encourage clinicians and therapists working with substance-dependent clients to read Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement.
With addiction a widespread and growing problem in our society, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement could not be more timely or needed. It integrates the latest research on addiction, cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness into a practice that has garnered empirical support and holds the promise of release and fulfillment for those who suffer from addiction.