What is PARfessionals?

Introduction

PARfessionals is an US, Arkansas-based, private research development firm for Peer Support and Recovery Providers in Addictions.

Background

The company was founded in 2011 by Jorea M. Kelley-Hardison She self-published the book “Getting Ahead: An Ex-Offenders Guide to Getting Ahead in Today’s Society”, where she encourages ex-offenders to participate in clinical research trials. She is mentioned in Dr. Jon Marc Taylor’s book “Prisoners’ Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Programs in the United States and Canada,” published by Prison Legal News in 2008.

Jorea Kelley-Hardison was taking classes to become a Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) before she decided to transition into the addiction industry to become an Addictions Counsellor in 2009. Around that time, she received her CCJP – a status from the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals and has been granted numerous credentials from the board, including the Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS), Peer Mentor/Peer Recovery Coach (PM-PRC) and the Associate Prevention Specialist (APS) credentials, but has since retired those credentials.

Jorea Kelley-Hardison earned a B.S. degree in Management in 2009 and has completed degree requirements in order to graduate with a M.A. in Criminal Justice from the American (Military) Public University System. She has also earned a graduate certificate in Applied Forensic Psychology Services from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In addition, she has obtained certificates in mental health, non-profit management, applied forensic psychology services, basic clinic research, family and business mediation, substance abuse, as well as emergency management. In addition, she has received training throughout the years in various important topics such as rape/domestic violence crisis intervention, hospice, and health unit coordination from various organizations and colleges including Parkland Health & Hospital System, Brookhaven College, Lakewood College, Centre for Degree Studies, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Thomas Edison State College, University of Texas at Arlington-Continuing Education Division, and Richland College.

She is currently a member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, NAADAC – The Association of Addiction Professionals, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, National Association of Health Unit Coordinators, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and the International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.

Brief History

In 2011, the word ” PARfessionals” was created by the company’s founder. In 2012, PARfessionals decided to develop the first peer-based online recovery coach training programme designed for those interested in mentoring individuals into and through long-term recovery from co-occurring disorders and other addictions and addictive behaviours.

In 2013, PARfessionals developed the first Peer Recovery/Addiction Recovery Coach Study Guide, a free Peer Recovery/Addiction Recovery Coach Curriculum Guide, a free Peer Recovery/Addiction Recovery Coach Practicum Guide and an online Peer Recovery/Addiction Recovery Coach Train the Trainers course. Additionally, PARfessionals’ founder and several family members applied for an ACE college credit review with The American Council On Education and then to Distance Education Accreditation Council (DEAC) in August 2015. After being rejected by DEAC, the founder contacted Charter State Oak College who in November 2015 about their program being recognised for college credit under their college assessment programme.

PARfessionals designed a Peer Recovery Facilitator Development e-Course in an effort to support the ongoing efforts of social service agencies, foundations, government agencies, and employers worldwide. This course would also work towards the development of community re-entry programs for inmates and workforce development skills for disadvantaged individuals such as ex-offenders, disabled individuals, low-income communities and minorities.

It was developed in collaboration with post-secondary educators and coaching experts for a diverse population with an array of learning skills who may be teaching, employing or supporting those who may be inmates, ex-offenders, mental health consumers, recovering addicts and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides adult-oriented learning strategies for a diverse group of individuals with different learning abilities.

The online Peer Recovery Facilitator Development e-Course was officially approved in 2014, by the Association for Addiction Professionals, also known as NAADAC.

In 2014, PARfessionals developed the first free Peer Recovery Support Specialist/Addiction Recovery Coach classroom curriculum kits in addition to a home study course, a correctional correspondence course for inmates, research journal, universal Code of Ethics and an international certification board. Additionally, PARfessionals’ founder created an in-house private virtual research institute, the Powell Leary Jacobs (PLJ) Multicultural Institute for Transformation Research in Addictions, to self-fund resources on Peer Recovery and Prevention. It was internally closed in 2014.

From 2013-2014, PARfessionals and its parent organisation, the SJM Family Foundation (which closed in January 2015 through the Texas Secretary of State) provided seven scholarships for eligible candidates from the general public who were devoted to seeking training for addiction treatment and peer recovery services.

Kelley-Hardison also established the International Certification Board of Recovery Professionals (ICBRP), the first ever, peer-run certification board created for peer recovery professionals in the world. The ICBRP’s mission was to be an independent, informal ad-hoc advisory board that provides guidance and accountability for the National Certified Peer Recovery Professionals (NCPRP) credentialing programme. However, it was later dissolved (through the Georgia Secretary of State in March 2015), and merged into PARfessionals’ private corporate structure.

In Spring 2017, The PARfessionals’ Cultural Intelligence in Addictions course supplemental student workbook was included in the German National Library.

As of August 2018, PARfessionals is a private product design and consulting firm doing business as PARfessionals Behavioural Health Research Development Corporation. The founder, Jorea Kelley-Hardison is a nationally certified psychiatric technician and social impact artist that has successfully worked with dozens of licensed professional clinicians and medical staff worldwide, including professionals from Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Health. to create 45+ PARfessionals’ branded resources, including Peer Recovery Practicum Guide, a Peer Recovery Pre-Certification Review e-Course. a Peer Recovery Supervision Training Course, and Peer Recovery classroom curriculum kits.

In order to accomplish the company’s goals, Kelley-Hardison, along with members of the AR SJM Family, hired and privately paid independent contractors and freelancers, also Ms. Hardison and several of her family members working as volunteers using their own money, and collaborating with a group of qualified contracted experts from across the world that had acquired degrees, held additional credentials and had significant work experience in their own respective fields.

The Definition of “Peer Recovery”

The term peer recovery can be first defined through PARfessionals as “the process of giving and receiving encouragement and assistance to achieve long-term recovery. Peers offer emotional support, share knowledge, teaches skills, provide practical assistance, and connect people with resources, opportunities, communities of support, and other people”.

The Association for Addiction Professionals provides a different definition of recovery. According to William White, MA, “recovery is the experience… through which individuals, families, and communities impacted by severe alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems utilize internal and external resources to voluntarily resolve these problems, heal the wounds inflicted by AOD related problems, actively manage their continued vulnerability to such problems, and develop a healthy, productive, and meaningful life”.

The International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium states that “peer recovery is experiencing rapid growth, whether it is provided by a peer recovery coach, peer recovery support specialist, peer navigator, patient navigators, public health learning navigators, behavioural health navigator or peer recovery mentor. Peer support services – advocating, mentoring, educating, and navigating systems – are becoming an important component in recovery oriented systems of care”.

IC&RC credentials and examinations, including Peer Recovery are administered exclusively by various certification and licensing boards in the United States and the world.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioural health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

SAMHSA states that:

Peer support services are delivered by individuals who have common life experiences with the people they are serving. People with mental and/or substance use disorders have a unique capacity to help each other based on a shared affiliation and a deep understanding of this experience. In self-help and mutual support, people offer this support, strength, and hope to their peers, which allows for personal growth, wellness promotion, and recovery.

Research has shown that peer support facilitates recovery and reduces health care costs. Peers also provide assistance that promotes a sense of belonging within the community. The ability to contribute to and enjoy one’s community is key to recovery and well-being. Another critical component that peers provide is the development of self-efficacy through role modeling and assisting peers with ongoing recovery through mastery of experiences and finding meaning, purpose, and social connections in their lives.”

Peer Recovery Navigator Academics Programme and (Micro-Certification) Registry

In 2012, PARfessionals developed the first globally recognised online training programme for peer recovery professionals. As of September 2015, PARfessionals offers an online distance learning pre-certification training course, a home study correspondence course and an inmate correspondence course for student-candidates to study at their own pace for global certification in peer recovery. The curriculum is based on proven research in order to make it the most specialised and comprehensive training programme for a new generation of Peer Recovery Professionals for a variety of settings.

Students worldwide have completed the training and shared their satisfaction with PARfessionals training programme.

PARfessionals developed its own exam and credential, NCPRP, which stands for “National Certified Peer Recovery Professional”.

The NCPRP credential and exam primarily emphasize the concept of peer recovery, with the main purpose of providing guidance, knowledge or assistance, especially among those with similar experiences who can meet as equals. The certification was integrated into the academic programme and renamed the PARfessionals’ Peer Recovery Workforce Development Certification Programme.

In Fall 2016, PARfessionals’ founder worked with qualified and licensed clinicians to create and sponsor the world’s first college level peer recovery training course and lifetime credential for the behavioural healthcare workforce, which was submitted and reviewed through the Connecticut Credit Assessment Programme and The Consortium for the Assessment of College Equivalence of Charter State College in Fall 2016.

Global Health Impact

Deloitte provides an annual look at the topics, trends, and issues impacting the global health care sector. According to its 2017 Global Healthcare Sector Outlook Infographic, “Peer support, self-management education, health coaching, and group activities, along with workforce training, and investments in the right technology” are “potential enablers of patient activation and engagement” and “key ingredients for productive health care operations”.

Behavioural Health Educational Mobile Apps

In February 2016, PARfessionals’ founder, Ms. Kelley Hardison started to partner with several independent app developers to develop Behavioural Health educational apps and games for the Addiction Peer Workforce.

Mobile Library Garden and Pocket Park Commemoration

In the fall of 2016, the AR SJM Family distributed two college preparatory guides, PARfessionals’ Peer Recovery/Cultural Intelligence in Addictions and PARfessionals’ Peer Recovery Navigator Practicum Guide to 240,000+ digital libraries and 2,000 digital publishers across the world. In 2017, the successful worldwide distribution was commemorated with a plaque in a mobile library garden and pocket park in Centennial, Texas.

Approvals

PARfessionals is an approved behavioural health training provider recognised by many states, national and international professional associations and state boards.

Book: Finding Your Best Self

Book Title:

Finding Your Best Self: Recovery from Addiction, Trauma, or Both.

Author(s): Lisa M. Najavits (PhD).

Year: 2019.

Edition: Second (2nd).

Publisher: Guildford Press.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Addiction and trauma are two of the most common and difficult issues that people face. In this motivating book, leading expert Lisa Najavits explains the link between addiction and trauma and presents science-based self-help strategies that you can use no matter where you are in your recovery. Every chapter features inspiring words from people who have “been there,” plus carefully designed reflection questions, exercises, and other practical tools. Learn how you can:

  • Build coping skills so that the future is better than the past.
  • Keep yourself safe and find support.
  • Set your own goals and make a plan to achieve them at your own pace.
  • Choose compassion over self-blame and shame.
  • Move toward your best self – the person you want to be.

If you are a family member or friend seeking to support a loved one – or a helping professional – this book is also for you. Now in a convenient large-size format, the revised edition features added materials for professional and peer counsellors. First edition title: Recovery from Trauma, Addiction, or Both.

Mental health professionals, see also the author’s Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse, which presents an evidence-based treatment approach developed specifically for PTSD and substance abuse.

What Causes Addiction?

What causes addiction?

Easy, right? Drugs cause addiction. But maybe it is not that simple.

Again, watched this on the introductory peer support course I am attending, definitely challenges the generally accepted convention of addiction.

This video is adapted from Johann Hari’s New York Times best-selling book ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.’

For more information, and to take a quiz to see what you know about addiction, go to http://www.chasingthescream.com.

On This Day … 01 January

People (Births)

  • 1946 – Claude Steele, American social psychologist and academic.

Claude Steele

Claude Mason Steele (born January 1, 1946) is a social psychologist and emeritus professor at Stanford University, where he is the I. James Quillen Endowed Dean, Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Emeritus.

Formerly he was the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as the 21st provost of Columbia University for two years. Before that, he had been a professor of psychology at various institutions for almost 40 years.

He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. His earlier work dealt with research on the self (like self-image and self-affirmation) as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviours.

In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarising years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education.

Education

He enrolled at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, where he earned a B.A. in psychology in 1967.

At Hiram College, Steele’s passion for reading novels led to an interest in how the individual faces the social world. After being fully immersed in the Civil Rights Movement and the issues of racial equality, rights, and the nature of prejudice as a child, Steele formed a desire to study the topics in a scientific manner. He was especially keen to discover their effects on social relationships and quality of life. Steele was inspired by African-American social psychologist Kenneth Clark’s TV appearance discussing the psychological implications of the 1964 race riots in Harlem, New York City, which led to doing behavioural research. Steele conducted early experimental research at Hiram College in physiological psychology (looking at behavioural motives in Siamese fighting fish) and social psychology (studying how African-American dialect among kids maintains ethnic/racial identity), where he worked under the mentorship of social psychologist, Ralph Cebulla.

In graduate school, he studied social psychology, earning an M.A. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1971 at Ohio State University, with a minor in statistical psychology. His dissertation work, with faculty adviser Tom Ostrom at Ohio State, focused on attitude measurement and attitude change.

Research

Throughout his academic career, his work fell into three main domains of research under the broad subject area of social psychology: stereotype threat, self-affirmation, and addictive behaviours. Although separate and distinct, the three lines of research are linked by their shared focus on self-evaluation and how people cope with threats to their self-image and self-identities.

  • Addictive Behaviours:
    • Although many people primarily associate Steele with his significant contributions in the development of stereotype threat research, the 14 years of his post-doctoral academic career that he spent at the University of Washington were focused on addictive behaviours and the social psychology behind alcohol use and addiction.
    • He was interested in the role of alcohol and drug use in self-regulation processes and social behaviour.
    • Among his major findings were that alcohol myopia, the cognitive impairment by alcohol use, reduces cognitive dissonance, leads to more extreme social responses, increases helping behaviour, reduces anxiety when it is combined with a distracting activity, and enhances important self-evaluations.
  • Self-Affirmation:
    • While studying the effects of alcohol use on social behaviour, Steele was formulating a theory about the effects of self-affirmation.
    • Developed in the 1980s, self-affirmational processes referred to the ability to reduce threats to self-image by stepping back and affirming a value that is important to self-concept.
    • Steele often uses the example of smokers who are told that smoking will lead to significant negative health outcomes.
    • The perception that they may be evaluated negatively by their willingness to engage in negative behaviours threatens their self-image.
    • However, affirming a value in a domain completely unrelated to smoking but important to one’s self-concept: joining a valued cause, or accomplishing more at work, will counter the negative effects of the self-image threat and re-establish self-integrity.
    • Self-affirmation theory was originally formulated as an alternative motivational explanation for cognitive dissonance theory that threats to the self led to a change in attitudes rather than psychologically inconsistent ideas, and self-affirmational strategies can reduce dissonance as effectively as attitude change.
    • His research on self-affirmation and its effects demonstrated the power of self-affirmation to reduce biased attitudes, lead to positive health behaviours, and even improve the academic performance of minority students.
  • Stereotype Threat:
    • Steele is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to explain real-world problems such as the underperformance of female students in mathematics and science classes as well as Black students in academic contexts.
    • Steele first began to explore the issues surrounding stereotype threat at the University of Michigan, when his membership on a university committee called for him to tackle the problem of academic underachievement of minority students at the university.
    • He discovered that the dropout rate for Black students was much higher than for their white peers even though they were good students and had received excellent SAT scores.
    • That led him to form a hypothesis involving stereotype threat.
    • Stereotype threat refers to the threat felt in particular situations in which stereotypes relevant to one’s collective identity exist, and the mere knowledge of the stereotypes can be distracting enough to negatively affect performance in a domain related to the stereotype.
    • Steele has demonstrated the far-reaching implications of stereotype threat by showing that it is more likely to undermine the performance of individuals highly invested in the domain being threatened and that stereotype threat can even lead to Black people having significant negative health outcomes.
    • The theories of stereotype threat can be applied for better understanding group differences in performance not only in intellectual situations but also in athletics.
    • Steele has spearheaded many successful interventions aimed at reducing the negative effects of stereotype threat, including how to provide critical feedback effectively to a student under the effects of stereotype threat, inspired by the motivating style of feedback of his graduate school adviser, Ostrom, and how teacher practices can foster a feeling of identity safety.
    • That would improve performance outcomes by elementary school minority students.

Book: The Addiction Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates

Book Title:

The Addiction Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates.

Author(s): Robert R. Perkinson, Arthur E. Jongsma, and Timothy J. Bruce.

Year: 2014.

Edition: Fifth (5th).

Publisher: Wiley.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

The Addiction Treatment Planner, Fifth Edition provides all the elements necessary to quickly and easily develop formal treatment plans that satisfy the demands of HMOs, managed care companies, third-party payors, and state and federal agencies.

  • New edition features empirically supported, evidence-based treatment interventions.
  • Organised around 43 behaviourally based presenting problems, including substance use, eating disorders, schizoid traits, and others.
  • Over 1,000 prewritten treatment goals, objectives, and interventions – plus space to record your own treatment plan options.
  • Easy-to-use reference format helps locate treatment plan components by behavioural problem.
  • Includes a sample treatment plan that conforms to the requirements of most third-party payors and accrediting agencies including CARF, The Joint Commission (TJC), COA, and the NCQA.

Book: Mental Health Workbook: 6 Books in 1

Book Title:

Mental Health Workbook: 6 Books in 1: The Attachment Theory, Abandonment Anxiety, Depression in Relationships, Addiction Recovery, Complex PTSD, Trauma, CBT Therapy, EMDR and Somatic Psychotherapy.

Author(s): Emily Attached, Marzia Fernandez, and Gino Mackesy.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Independently Published.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

This Book includes: 6 Manuscripts

  1. Attachment Theory Workbook.
  2. Abandonment Recovery Workbook.
  3. The Addiction Recovery Workbook.
  4. Complex PTSD, Trauma and Recovery.
  5. EMDR and Somatic Psychotherapy.
  6. Somatic Psychotherapy.

Book 1: Attachment Theory Workbook

You can start to redress the balance to build stronger relationships with those close to you, with chapters that cover:

  • How anxiety disorder develops.
  • How to become self-disciplined with your emotions.
  • Learning to communicate effectively.
  • How positive reinforcement works.
  • How your physical health affects your mental state.
  • Dealing with conflict.
  • Empathetic listening and its link to happiness.
  • And more…

Book 2: Abandonment Recovery Workbook

You will learn how to cope with the feelings of abandonment through chapters that examine:

  • What affecting abandonment.
  • Abandonment anxiety.
  • How abandonment can change a life.
  • Depression in Relationships.
  • Building healthier relationships.
  • The power of forgiveness.

Book 3: The Addiction Recovery Workbook

In this book, you will find the necessary help to get you on the road to recovery, with chapters that cover:

  • How to replace your addiction and find the peace you crave.
  • Educating yourself about your addiction.
  • What to avoid when you are developing new habits.
  • Exercise, hydration and a non-toxic lifestyle.
  • Getting creative to life healthier.

Book 4: Complex PTSD, Trauma and Recovery

In this book, you will finally find new ways to tackle your trauma, with chapters that focus on:

  • How depression is defined.
  • How you can avoid exacerbating the problem.
  • A range of trauma treatment exercises.
  • Trauma and the link to mental health.
  • Understanding anxiety.
  • Complex PTSD.

Books 5 and 6: EMDR and Somatic Psychotherapy

You’ll discover how it could help you, with chapters that cover:

  • The principles of EMDR and Somatic Psychotherapy.
  • The basic concepts of Somatic Psychotherapy and EMDR Therapy.
  • Examining the neurobiology of stress and trauma.
  • How the brain works and how it is affected by trauma.
  • Somatic Psychotherapy explained.

Book: Clean – Overcoming Addiction And Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy

Book Title:

Clean – Overcoming Addiction And Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy.

Author(s): David Sheff.

Year: 2014.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Type(s): hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook.

Synopsis:

Addiction is a preventable, treatable disease, not a moral failing.

As with other illnesses, the approaches most likely to work are based on science – not on faith, tradition, contrition, or wishful thinking. These facts are the foundation of Clean.

The existing addiction treatments, including Twelve Step programmes and rehabs, have helped some, but they have failed to help many more.

To discover why, David Sheff spent time with scores of scientists, doctors, counsellors, and addicts and their families, and explored the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine.

In Clean, he reveals how addiction really works, and how we can combat it.

Book: Internet Addiction in Children and Adolescents

Book Title:

Internet Addiction in Children and Adolescents: Risk Factors, Assessment, and Treatment.

Author(s): Kimberly S. Young and Cristiano Nabuco de Abreu (Editors).

Year: 2017.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Springer Publishing Co Inc.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.

Synopsis:

This is the first book to thoroughly examine how early and easy access to the Internet and digital technologies impacts children and adolescents. Experts in the field examine the research that shows the social, cognitive, developmental, and academic problems that can result when children spend excessive time in front of screens. As a whole, the book provides an invaluable resource for those who need to assess, treat, and prevent Internet addiction in children and adolescents.

Internet Addiction in Children and Adolescents:

  • Provides tools that help predict a child’s level of risk for media-related problems.
  • Examines how to diagnose and differentiate Internet addiction from other psychiatric conditions.
  • Explores evidence-based treatment approaches and how to distinguish pathology from normal development.
  • Shows how to create inpatient treatment programs and therapies to address media addiction.
  • Highlights the psychological, social, and family conditions for those most at risk.
  • Evaluates the effects of the excessive use of electronic games and the Internet on brain development.
  • Explores the physical risks that result from excessive media use and strategies for combating the problem.
  • Examines school-based initiatives that employ policies and procedures designed to increase awareness of excessive media use and help educators identify students who misuse technology, and that provide strategies of intervention and communication with parents.
  • Identifies signs of problem Internet behavior such as aggressive behavior, lying about screen use, and a preference for screen time over social interactions.
  • Outlines the risk factors for developing Internet addiction.
  • Provides strategies for treatment and prevention in family, school, and community settings.

Practitioners and researchers in psychology, social work, school counseling, child and family therapy, and nursing will appreciate this book’s thorough review of Internet addiction among children and adolescents. The book also serves as an engaging supplement in courses on media psychology, addiction counseling, abnormal psychology, school counseling, social issues, and more.

Book: Internet Addiction

Book Title:

Internet Addiction: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Health Effects.

Author(s): Margaret Adams (Editor).

Year: 2016.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Nova Science Publishers.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

According to the World Health Organisation, pathological addiction is the psychic, and sometimes even physical, condition arising from the interaction between a living organism and an exogenous substance, characterised by behavioural responses and other reactions that always include a compulsive need to take the substance continuously or periodically, in order to get its psychic effects and/or to avoid the distress related to its withdrawal.

This book presents a review on Internet addiction, which is considered an emergent problem especially amongst adolescents, and examines the risk factors and health effects of this addiction.

Book: Why Can’t I Stop?

Book Title:

Why Can’t I Stop?: Reclaiming Your Life from a Behavioral Addiction (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book).

Author(s): Jon E. Grant, Brian L. Odlaug, and Samuel R. Chamberlain.

Year: 2016.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

At some point in our lives, we all engage in behaviours that are risky, irrational, or unwise. We might find it exciting and temporarily rewarding to gamble on the lottery or impulsively buy an expensive gadget. But just as substances like alcohol and narcotics have the potential to become addictive, so do certain behaviours. A person addicted to gambling, shopping, the internet, food, or picking at their skin may suffer shame in the shadows while their behaviour consumes time and energy and disrupts their life. Some people with behavioural addictions lose their family, job, savings, and home. With a physical basis in the brain, behavioural addictions are serious illnesses – but simply willing yourself to stop is usually not enough.

Why Can’t I Stop? is for anyone who has a behavioural addiction, as well as their supportive families and friends. Examining seven of the most common and serious addictions – gambling, sex, stealing, internet use, shopping and buying, hair pulling and skin picking, and food – the authors bring together cutting-edge research to describe behavioural addiction, its causes, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.

Featuring patient stories of behavioural addiction and recovery, as well as information about treatment centres, this compassionate guide will help readers better understand the complicated issues surrounding these addictions and teach family members how to help the addicted person while helping themselves.