February 7, 1998
I have recently completed my first book, The Essential Papers On Addiction, published by NYU Press. I worked very hard to choose cogent and well-written papers for the volume and I am pleased with my final selections. There is an introductory section which will orient you to the major concepts in the addiction field. Extensive endnotes take up in detail some important matters which did not fit into the flow of the commentary. I think you will find them interesting. I have written a brief introduction to each section to orient the reader. I am pleased with the flow of the book. I think that you will find yourself able to connect the threads of the readings together to give you a good overall appreciation of the psychoanalytic understanding of addiction. Additionally, you will get a good grounding in the disease concept and its integration with psychoanalytic concepts. The last section addresses dual diagnosis disorders for which effective treatment is not yet available. I have included a chapter from Richards¹ excellent book on the topic, which, I think challenges the reader to begin to search for a good paradigm for understanding and treating these combined disorders. The book is organized around topics rather than different schools of psychoanalysis. While drive theory, object relations, self psychology, and ego psychology are all represented, I didn¹t want to emphasize the differences between the schools, especially since psychoanalysis collectively does not provide a sufficient method for treating these disorders. Most of the readings included in the book were used in my course at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. The students were pleased with the readings (and often had some very insightful commentary which expanded my understanding of the readings!) You will be introduced to the prominent psychoanalytic theories of addiction: self-medication hypothesis, vulnerability models, and the impaired ego-autonomy model. I think it¹s fair to say that this book is probably the best place to start to learn about addiction if you have a psychoanalytic background. I am familiar with the literature of addiction and you will find many important references scattered throughout the book.
A few words about the author: I have now been in the addiction field for 21 years! I was director of an alcoholism
clinic at Cabrini Medical Center from 1982-1994. Currently I am associate professor of psychology at John Jay College
where I am co-director of the Addiction Studies Program. I have supervised and taught counselors, psychiatric residents,
and medical students about addiction for 15 years. I graduated from the NYU Postdoctoral Program 1n 1983. If you
do read the book, let me know what you think.