Many people recover from addictions on their own with little or no professional help. However, not much is known about the strategies they use to change their behavior and to maintain that change. Currently, most research attention and treatment efforts are focused on those who are severely addicted. But at least one study indicates that those who are not severely addicted cost society more than those who are. This talk briefly reviews the research on self-guided change, aka natural recovery, the paucity of research focused on how people change and maintain that change, and what we do know about the techniques that people use to change their addictive behaviors. How practitioners might aid and accelerate self-guided change and an effective, relatively inexpensive research method is also discussed.
F. Michler Bishop, Ph.D., is the Director of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services at the Albert Ellis Institute where he worked closely for over twenty years with Dr. Ellis, running groups and workshops. He is the author of Am I Addicted: 64 Questions and Answers to Help You Change an Addictive or Semi-Addictive Behavior (https://amzn.to/36DEWrn) and Managing Addictions: Cognitive, Emotive and Behavioral Techniques (https://amzn.to/3lCt92P). He advocates for a compassionate, integrative, goal-focused, research-based approach. He was a founder of SMART Recovery and instrumental in the development of its Four-Point Program. He conducts webinars and workshops in the United States and overseas.