Cover image for When your partner has an addiction : how compassion can transform your relationship (and heal you both in the process) / Christopher Kennedy Lawford and Beverly Engel.
When your partner has an addiction : how compassion can transform your relationship (and heal you both in the process) / Christopher Kennedy Lawford and Beverly Engel.
Publication Information:
Dallas, TX : BenBella Books, Inc. [2016]

Physical Description:
220 pages ; 23 cm
Added Author:


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1 Nechako Branch 362.29 LAW Book Adult General Collection

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Your partner's addiction takes a toll on both of your lives.

That doesn't mean you should turn your back on the person you love.

We've been told that staying with a partner who struggles with addiction--whether it be with drugs, alcohol, or addictive behaviors--means that we're enabling their destructive behavior. That wanting to help them means we're codependent, and that the best thing for both of us is to walk away from the relationship entirely. But is that true?

When Your Partner Has an Addiction challenges the idea that the best chance for recovery--for the addict and their partner--is to walk away. Instead, it makes the revolutionary claim that you, and the love you have for your partner, can be a key part of his or her journey to recovery.

Together, addiction activist and bestselling author Christopher Kennedy Lawford and psychotherapist Beverly Engel, MFT, take a fresh look at addiction and codependency--the latest research on what causes them and what the two have in common. Rather than treat addiction or codependency as disease or weakness, When Your Partner Has an Addiction honors the trauma and shame that often lie at their source and shows you how to use your love to combat that shame, allowing you to more effectively support your partner and heal yourself.

The research proves that, while you cannot "fix" your partner, you can have a positive impact on their recovery. Whether you suffer from codependency, and whether your partner is already in recovery, When Your Partner Has an Addiction provides you with proven techniques and strategies to drastically improve your relationship and help get your partner the help he needs--without leaving and while taking care of yourself in the process.

Author Notes

Christopher Kennedy Lawford spent 20 years in the film and television industries as an actor, lawyer, executive and producer. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Symptoms of Withdrawal (2005) and Moments of Clarity (2009).

In recovery for more than 25 years from drug addiction, Lawford campaigns tirelessly on behalf of the recovery community in both the public and private sectors. He presently works with the United Nations, the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, the White House Office on Drug Control Policy, and the World Health Organization. He also consults with Fortune 500 companies and numerous non-profit groups, speaking around the world on issues related to addiction, mental health, and Hepatitis C.

In 2009, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Lawford to the California Public Health Advisory Committee. In 2011, Lawford was named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime to promote activities supporting drug treatment, care and recovery. He also serves as national advocacy consultant for Caron Treatment Centers.

Lawford holds a bachelor of arts from Tufts University, a juris doctor from Boston College Law School, and a masters certification in clinical psychology from Harvard Medical School where he held an academic appointment as a lecturer in psychiatry.

Beverly Engel is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and an acclaimed advocate for victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. She is the author of 21 self-help books, including 4 best selling books on emotional abuse: The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, The Emotionally Abused Woman, and Encouragements for the Emotionally Abused Woman , and Healing Your Emotional Self . Her latest book, It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion came out in Jan. of 2015. Engel is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has been practicing psychotherapy for 35 years.

Beverly's books have often been honored for various awards, including being a finalist in the Books for a Better Life award. Many of her books have been chosen for various book clubs, including One Spirit Book Club, Psychology Today Book Club and Behavioral Sciences Book Club. Beverly frequently lends her expertise to national television talk shows, and has appeared on Oprah, CNN , and Starting Over, and many other TV programs. She has a blog on the Psychology Today website as well as regularly contributing to the Psychology Today magazine, and has been featured in a number of newspapers and magazines, including: Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Marie Claire, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and The Denver Post.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Part I Love, Compassion, and Understanding
Chapter 1 Love and Addiction: Can They Coexist?p. 11
Chapter 2 Do I Love My Partner Enough to Stay?p. 25
Chapter 3 Hope and Compassion: The Keys to Healingp. 35
Part II Taking on a Compassionate Attitude
Chapter 4 A Fresh Look at Addictionp. 45
Chapter 5 A Different Perspective on Codependencyp. 73
Part III Your Role in Your Partner's Recovery
Chapter 6 The Difference between Codependency and Compassionp. 101
Chapter 7 Should You Be a Supporter or a Collaborator?p. 115
Chapter 8 Becoming a Compassionate Supporterp. 127
Chapter 9 Becoming a Compassionate Collaboratorp. 147
Chapter 10 Creating Your Own Self-Care Programp. 169
Conclusionp. 197
Appendix I Types of Childhood Abusep. 203
Appendix II Options for Recoveryp. 215
Endnotesp. 217
About the Authorsp. 219

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