Saturday December 3rd 2016

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Does mindfulness meditation increase the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment for teens? (BOOK REVIEW)

Yes, practices in mindfulness have shown to be effective in decreasing drug use. Plus, these practices teaches teens the REAL SKILLS needed to manage cravings, emotions, and behaviors related to substance abuse.

Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum is a book that presents curriculum which integrates best practices from the fields of mindfulness, psychotherapy, and addiction treatment as applied to working with adolescents. But how successful is this method? What can we learn from it?…. And, most importantly, why add this book to your library?

Read more here. Then, ask your questions about mindfulness and  meditation at the end. We try to respond to all questions personally and promptly.

What is mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment?

Mindfulness-based substance abuse treatment is a treatment modality that incorporates mindfulness, self-awareness and treatment strategies for people dealing with addiction.

What is most impressive about this book is that the evidence-based, how-to format provides a flexible curriculum for professionals. This way, you can implement the program either partially, by picking and choosing sections that seem relevant, or in full over a number of weeks. Each session comes equipped with:

  • Clear session agendas
  • Example scripts and talking points
  • “What-if?” scenarios that address common forms of resistance optional handouts

Sections cover the major principles of working with adolescents: relationship building, working with resistance, and more…along with a full curriculum.

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Does mindfulness really work?

There are a number of key aspects of the intervention results that have been found to suggest why mindfulness can be beneficial as a treatment intervention for adolescents dealing with substance abuse issues:

1. An increased ability to manage strong emotions
2. Reduced impulsiveness
3. Reduced stress
4. Decreased cravings to use drugs
5. Ability to observe drug cravings without reacting
6. Increased overall well-being
7. Increased risk in the perception of drug use
8. Decreased drug use

These benefits are critical skills needed for adolescents attempting to reduce the frequency of substance use or other unhealthy behaviors.

Who should check out this workbook?

This book is a natural fit for psychotherapists. However, addiction counselors, school counselors, researchers, mentors, and even teachers will find that Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents changes the way they work with young people. It provides readers with a methodology for connecting with adolescents on an authentic level and with the necessary curricula to foster greater self-awareness and greater regulatory capacity over unhealthy behaviors.

Why do we recommend the book?

The mindfulness practices explained in this book will give you step-by-step directions on how to integrate meditations and psychotherapy with clinical practice in developing skills for adolescents. It is flexible and scalable so that you can focus on adapting the curriculum to your clients’ individual and group needs. It provides application of mindfulness for different kinds of learning, and isn’t limited to teenagers only! Adults benefit, too.

Wondering where you can find “Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum”? To buy, download and read the book, check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Based-Substance-Abuse-Treatment-Adolescents/dp/1138812544. Additionally, if you are left with any questions about this book, we ask you to post them in the section below. We also welcome your feedback if you’ve read the book, and would like to comment and share your opinion.


About the authors: Sam Himelstein, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in the state of California, an author, trainer, parent coach, and researcher. His day job is as a Behavioral Health Clinician at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center (ACJJC), an institution he was once incarcerated in as a young teen. Dr. Himelstein is passionate about working with juvenile justice populations, addiction populations, and those suffering from trauma.
Stephen Saul, MS, is a mental health clinician who works with addiction and marginalized populations via individual group, and family therapy. He focuses primarily on serving incarcerated and underprivileged adolescents and young adults in San Mateo County, California.

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