Stop thinking like and addict and reclaim your life with The PERFECT Program
Stanton Peele with Ilse Thompson
For decades you've been told that addiction is an irreversible disease, a biological force over which you have no control. That defeatist message not only is without scientific foundation, but actually prevents your overcoming addiction.
Now, world-renowned addiction expert Stanton Peele demystifies addiction and offers a groundbreaking program that puts at your disposal what does work in treatment and recovery. For four decades, Dr. Peele has challenged our understanding of addiction and recovery. He has developed approaches that break the cycle of addiction and empower us to take control of our lives--including understanding that we are able to direct our own brains to change. In Recover! Dr. Peele's PERFECT Program takes you through the key concepts of mindfulness--that is, your ability to detach from your addictive experience and to see that it is not who you are--combined with the Buddhist idea of loving kindness, or self-acceptance. It's an easily grasped, yet multifaceted program that allows your true self to overcome your addictive urges.
Instead of focusing on what's wrong with you, the PERFECT Program will help you discover, embrace, and build your recovery on what's already right about you. Combining the best evidence-based treatments with the mindful use of meditation, Recover! presents a life-transforming philosophy for freeing yourself from addiction forever.
White, W. (2015) Book Reviews: Recover! and Recovery Now. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 33(1), 132 - 137.
Stanton Peele’s name is familiar to anyone who has worked in any capacity within the modern addictions field. Stanton is a prominent speaker, commentator and prolific writer, who, in addition to hundreds of articles and blogs, has authored such books as Love and Addiction, Diseasing of America, and The Truth About Addiction and Recovery. His gadfly attacks on the portrayal of addiction as a disease, abstinence-only treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous make him one of the most polarizing figures in modern addiction treatment, but Stanton Peele has made significant contributions to the addictions field. He was one of the first writers to move beyond a focus on drugs to what came to be called process addictions—destructive relationships with people, sex, food, and work. His biting critiques of prevailing approaches to conceptualizing, treating and recovering from addiction and his proffered alternatives have moved discussions of addiction from scientific and professional enclaves to subjects worthy of broader public debate. And more than any other author writing for the general public, Peele has brought attention to alcohol and other drug problems and their patterns of resolution beyond those seen in addiction treatment or mutual aid fellowships.
Having corresponded with and shared speaking platforms with Stanton for some years, I sometimes think of him as a cross between a bullfighter waving a red cape before the leaders of the addictions field and the Trickster of Native American folklore whose actions puncture and deflate prevailing institutions and ideas. Stanton Peele is a lawyer as well as a psychologist, and he revels in a good fight.
Recover! goes well beyond brainless, mindless, and choiceless approaches to addiction. Dr. Stanton Peele’s work offers hope for mindful, practical, and liberating addiction treatment and self-help.
—Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Founder, Program in Psychiatry and the Law at BIDMC Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School
12-step treatment worsened my addiction to the point that I nearly died of withdrawal. Stanton Peele’s books saved my life by showing me that I was not powerless and did not need to be rescued by a “Higher Power.” For a step-by-step guide on how to overcome addiction I most highly recommend Dr. Peele’s new book Recover!
—Kenneth Anderson, MA, Founder and CEO of HAMS Harm Reduction for Alcohol
In Recover!, Stanton Peele and Ilse Thompson offer a blueprint to help addicts cope with their triggers, from loneliness and feeling unworthy, anxious, and overwhelmed. Recover! focuses on what's right in the addict's life, and adding to it. It’s a hopeful, tangible set of tools designed to give power back to the addict—not give it up.
—Gabrielle Glaser, author of The New York Times bestseller Her Best-Kept Secret: Why Women Drink—And How They Can Regain Control
“I am a recovering addict” was the way someone introduced himself to me on my first visit to the USA. He explained he had been in recovery for the past 25 years. The irrationality, helplessness and disempowerment inherent in this statement shocked me. This is what the disease model of addiction does to people. I am in agreement with Stanton Peele that people are not powerless or helpless in the face of dependence on drugs, and the evidence supports this view. This book dispels that, and other myths about drugs. Stanton has come up with another must-read book.
—Professor Pat O’Hare, co-founder and former director of Harm Reduction International
At a time when addiction is being trumpeted as a “brain disease,” Peele slashes through the hyper-medicalized rhetoric to get to the human core of addiction and recovery. This acutely insightful and compassionate book is required reading for anyone struggling with an overwhelming habit.
—Sally Satel, MD, co-author of Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience; lecturer, Yale University School of Medicine
Stanton Peele's insistence that addiction is not a disease, but a symptom of dysfunctional societies, families, and/or psyches is compelling, compassionate, and almost certainly correct. In Recover!, his most impressive work to date, he lays out a program—both utterly simple and profound—that will quite literally save lives by addressing the root causes of addiction rather than pathologizing its many manifestations.
—Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. & Cacilda Jethá, M.D., authors of The New York Timesbestseller Sex at Dawn
In his latest book, Recover!, pioneering addiction expert Dr. Stanton Peele moves on to exciting new ground by providing practical advice and tools for dealing with addiction, based on Buddhist-inspired mindfulness techniques. It is essential reading for those who want to understand the reality of addiction and ways it can be effectively addressed. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to move on from their own addiction or is supporting someone else to overcome their addiction.
—Julian Cohen, author of Drugs and Young People: Essential Information and Advice for Parents and Professionals
For decades, Stanton Peele has been at the forefront of the battle to understand addictions and eliminate the twin myths that addicts are powerless over their addictions and that they have a lifelong “brain disease.” In Recover! he has taken another crucial step toward freeing us from these prejudicial, disempowering misconceptions while truly helping people suffering with addiction.
—Lance Dodes, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (Retired); co-author, The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry
Recover! is Stanton Peele's most comprehensive workbook. It provides an astonishing array of resources, neatly organized into accessible and sensible tasks, and a final chapter for coping with unexpected problems. In this book you will find guidance on everything you need to address in recovery. Peele writes as if he were a close friend, explaining important concepts carefully and with genuine concern that you truly understand them. You can relax and soak up what he says, feeling your perspective and life change with each sentence. He doesn’t tell you what to do, but shows you the tasks that need to be accomplished and gives you options for moving forward. Many readers may well emerge from this book and think, “I knew that!” True enough, but only after reading Peele, who masterfully re-connects us with our own wisdom.
—Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP; President, SMART Recovery® and Practical Recovery; Past President, American Psychological Association’s Division on Addictions
Stanton Peele’s writing has been a Copernican paradigm shift in the field of recovery. With his Diseasing of America, Peele emerged as a savvy provocateur with the guts to take on the recovery establishment. With Recover! Peele shares his clinical wisdom and compassion with those who are on the path of change and self-acceptance. Recover! is a recovery program of practical perfection without the typical recovery perfectionism.
—Pavel Somov, Ph.D., author of Lotus Effect and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time
Recover! is a powerful new tool for helping people with addictions heal and grow. Dr. Stanton Peele is a trailblazer who has led each new progressive wave in the addictive behaviors field since the 1970s. Today, Dr. Peele is a leading voice for a new shift in the field, one that refutes the myth that addicted people are victims of a permanent disease that they can arrest only by accepting their powerlessness and lifelong abstinence. Recover! is a how-to guide to recovery through cultivating mindful awareness and self-compassion. The book introduces Stanton’s PERFECT Program, a creative blend of ideas and practical strategies for leaving addiction behind while creating the life you want. Inspiring, hopeful, and a good read as well.
—Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, author, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems; Director, Center for Optimal Living, NYC
Probably the world’s most notable figure in addiction studies, Stanton Peele has written another great book. Recover! really is a self-help book. Unlike most of what you read, it teaches you to help yourself, rather than telling you to rely on a treatment system because helping oneself is impossible. Stanton’s work assisted my recovery many years ago, and he can help you now.
—Peter Ferentzy, Ph.D., author of Dealing with an Addict: What You Need to Know if Someone You Care for Has a Drug or Alcohol Problem
Stanton Peele knows more about addiction than anyone in the world. Every one of his books is a masterpiece. So is this one. The materials in this book are factual, inspiring and helpful for anyone making for change on their own. If you need additional help, take this book to a good therapist. Ask them to help you apply Peele’s materials. You will be very happy with the results!
—Robert M. Muscala, R.N., Addiction/Chemical Health Specialist, Minnesota
In the midst of the turbulence about defining and dealing with addiction, Stanton Peele has consistently articulated one of the few sane voices. Increasingly, research has proved that he is right. Recover! continues and extends his presence at the forefront of advice and help based on common sense and efficacy for those struggling with addiction.
--Liese Recke, Manager of Clinical Treatment, Oslo Norway, and former addict