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Dowling, S. (1995). Introduction. The Psychology and Treatment of Addictive Behavior, xiii-xiv.

Dowling, S. (1995). Introduction. The Psychology and Treatment of Addictive Behavior , xiii-xiv

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Scott Dowling, M.D.

The title of this book and the conferences on which it is based have evoked surprise both within and outside the psychoanalytic community. The nature and treatment of addictive behavior has not been a popular subject of psychoanalytic investigation. There has always been a scattering of analysts interested in addictive behavior, but until recently, there has not been a unified effort by psychoanalysts to examine the psychology and methods of treatment of addictive behavior. JourLook, the database of psychoanalytic periodical literature, lists only 21 references to addiction or addictive behavior. Now, a group of psychoanalytic investigators and therapists has joined forces to reexamine our knowledge and approach to these disorders. These analysts have investigated the development and modulation of affect, of self-esteem, of interpersonal relationships, and of disturbances of self-care in relation to addictive behavior. Their findings have ramifications not only for the treatment and theoretical understanding of addiction but also have application to other disorders of ego development and expression. Their treatment studies enlarge our understanding of group phenomena and provide a model for psychoanalytic participation in multiform treatment programs. We are fortunate to have several of these contemporary investigators and theoreticians among the authors in this volume.

This book explores the psychology of addictive behavior in both drug addiction and other forms of driven, compulsive behavior. We set forth psychoanalytic contributions to an understanding of the inner psychological processes, the mental events, which occur in persons who show addictive behavior, while acknowledging, and in a more limited way, discussing the contributions from other psychological orientations.


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