Unhooked: How to Quit Anything

Susan Shapiro and Frederick Woolverton. Skyhorse, $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-61608-418-9
Doctor and former patient join forces in this guide to kicking addiction, from heroin to shopping. Woolverton, founder and director of the Village Institute for Psychotherapy, has worked with addicts for 25 years. Even as a successful and self-aware professional, it was when he quit smoking that he gained crucial insight: “I had to let myself suffer, figure out where it was coming from, and figure out what that pain was trying to tell me.” The importance of taking those steps in that order is emphasized throughout; Woolverton bolsters his argument by noting that’s why 12-step programs work. Addicts “need to be told to stop right now or they might die”; afterward, self-exploration supports lasting recovery. Former patient and coauthor Shapiro can attest to this: 10 years ago, Woolverton helped her quit alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes. She’s since discovered a passion for writing and published seven books. Her example and other case studies illustrate how Woolverton’s approach has worked for real people—and Woolverton’s willingness to share his own personal struggles add authenticity. Those stories and their positive message, combined with the authors’ concrete steps for identifying destructive behaviors and seeking help, make for a valuable, hopeful read. Agent: Ryan Harbage. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
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