This review originally posted on Feathered Quill Book Reviews
There is no doubt that addictions, whether they be related to drugs, relationships or gambling, have a negative impact on everyone involved in the addict's life, not just the addict himself/herself. Yet, when treatment is being obtained by the person with the addiction, often times involving family in the recovery process is overlooked, or even nonexistent. Unfortunately because of this, family members in the recovering addict's life do not receive the special attention they need in order for them to properly heal from the ravages that addiction has wrecked in their lives. When the addict begins the healing process while working their recovery program and is able to move onto a healthier lifestyle, family members are often left with no where to process their feelings and may develop anger, resentment and fears involving the addict and their relationship with him/her. But what are family members to do, and where should they go to obtain the necessary information and assistance to allow them to process their emotions in a healthy environment and manner, especially when they are often times completely ignored in the recovery process?
Thankfully, authors Desjardins, Oelklaus and Watson have created, Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Families of Addicts, an informational text and workbook that addresses the lack of education and support sorely needed for family members of those individuals suffering from any type of addiction. Not only does this book contain solid information about addiction and the recovery process for both the addict and their family, it also includes real life stories, many of them pointing out the struggles and successes that allows readers to really identify with their own personal struggles as they move through recovery.
As a former substance abuse counselor, working with many clients severely ravaged by their addictions, I know firsthand how critically important it is to engage the entire family in the recovery process, not just the addict themselves, for there to be complete and continued success for everyone involved. This book does just that by starting out with the most important part, understanding addiction and what goes on in the recovery process, terms and concepts that are often misunderstood, thus creating an atmosphere filled with untruths that cause blocks in the healing process. Rewriting Life Scripts also includes exercises and questions readers can utilize to not only further explore how addictions have impacted their lives, but how to move away from the negative behaviors and into the positive ones. Last, but not least, this book also includes suggestions for better ways to communicate, improving coping skills and descriptions of the stages of grief, all subjects that are equally critical parts in the recovery process for family in recovery.