Empathy for the devil
How to help people overcome drugs and alcohol problems
By Phil Harris
9781903855546N

Examining the core skills necessary for effecting change in problematic substance users, this important new book explores practical ways of establishing or improving your practice. It steps beyond clinical, theoretical and moral undertones to the reality of working with substance misuse. Where society, the media and our imaginations are full of the modern day social demons of drug users, it provides positive and reflective support for both experienced and novice workers - or those affected by others' use. It suggests ways ahead to workers stuck in seemingly perennial impasses, as they strive with their colleagues to address multi-faceted and entrenched problems.

Increasingly, social policy now demands evidence-based practice, putting ever greater pressure on professionals from all disciplines to grasp the core ideas and skills drawn from research findings. But this research is often too arid and abstract to overlay upon the life of the individual sat before us, and can make the lay person feel even more under skilled. This book bridges this chasm, bringing together a wide range of proven skills in supporting people through change in an open and accessible way. It:
  • invites you to re-consider your own experiences so as to illuminate the key ideas, skills and techniques in addiction work
  • lucidly explains the latest findings in effective practice
  • illustrates them with case examples
  • provides optional self-reflective exercises and activities to aid learning and training.
    Empathy for the Devil will give anyone working with people whose lives are affected by drugs or alcohol new ideas and perspectives to address old and intractable problems.

    Large format paperback. 240 pages. 978-1-903855-54-6. Published 2007. £24.95.


    CONTENTS

    Introduction
    On intoxication
    On addiction
    On the helping relationship
    On assessment and care planning
    On motivation
    On preparation
    On implementing change
    On maintenance


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Phil Harris is an independent writer who has worked in direct access drug services for over fifteen years. He has designed and delivered internationally recognised treatment programmes and accredited training courses throughout the UK & Europe. Having worked as a drugs treatment advisor to DST's, Criminal Justice Services and Youth Services, he has also managed several organisations and implemented innovative, practical and effective approaches to addressing people's problems with misuse of drugs and alcohol. He continues to practice in the south west of England.


    REVIEWS

    "I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is a great read. Harris discusses the complexity of drug and alcohol problems with more references to cultural and social aspects than previous work that I have read in this area. I found his account of the involvement and hypocrisy of the American government in relation to drugs particularly interesting. The focus of the book is explicitly and empathically on helping clients to establish and achieve their own goals to overcome their addiction. However Harris does not treat people as living in a vacuum, but as living within and being part of an extremely influential cultural context. I particularly enjoyed Harris's astute reflections upon the therapeutic relationship, something not always talked about, and found the chapter on solution-focused therapy so inspiring that I wanted to rush out and try it." The Psychologist.

    "This guide by writer and practitioner Phil Harris examines the core skills for use by a wide range of professionals when helping people overcome drug and alcohol problems….includes case studies, exercises and tools." Young People Now.

    "The author has taken on a huge brief and attempted it bravely…a useful book to dip into…a valuable snapshot of the zeitgeist in drugs work and drug users….what it sets out to do, it accomplishes well." Therapy today.

    "Book of the month… his bibliography makes for extensive further reading." Drugscope Members Briefing.

    "Examining the core skills necessary for effecting change in problematic substance users, this book explores practical ways of establishing or improving practice. It steps beyond clinical, theoretical and moral undertones to the reality of working with substance misuse and offers positive and reflective support for both experienced and novice workers, as well as bringing together a wide range of proven skills in supporting people through change, and illuminating key ideas and techniques." Human Givens Journal.
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