Science Book a Day Interviews David Smallwood


Special thanks to David Smallwood for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Who Says I’m an Addict?: A Book for Anyone Who is Partial to Food, Sex, Booze or Drugs

I have been a therapist and counsellor for 14 years. I have a Masters degree in addiction counselling and psychology. I have a post graduate diploma in therapeutic counselling. Diploma in counselling for addictive disorders. I have trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitising and re- processing), PIT training with Pia Mellody at the Meadows, in Arizona. (co-Dependence and family of origin) in intervention(for addictive problems) – From David’s Homepage

David’s Homepage:
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#1 – What was the impetus for Who says I’m an addict?

I wanted people to understand that addiction does not come in bottles or needles etc, but in people. Addicts are not bad, just use things to take away their pain.

#2 – This book is part-help-book, part memoir. Why did you choose to include your own story in the book?

I guess I wanted to tell the story of how addiction works, with no frills or psychobabble. I used my own journey to illustrate each part of the book hopefully so people across the spectrum, addict or not, can understand.

#3 – How has our thinking about addiction changed over history? Do you think we are at a high point in our thinking about addiction?

Our understanding about addiction has changed very dramatically over the past half century or so. The inception of AA gave a starting point ( especially for treatment) but was not joined up. Hence there are different fellowships for different parts of addiction. I.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous etc. We pretty much know now that addiction is about suppression of distress which gets out of hand. We also know that a great deal of the addictive process is generated by childhood ‘trauma’ ( I mean small T trauma not big T trauma) if this is left untreated, there is a greater risk of relapse ( even 20-30 years later) . So better understanding, but at the bigger level ( government) little, if any desire to encompass it, which is sad. Our prisons are full of untreated addiction.

#4 – How has your book been received by caregivers, addicts, families?

So far I have had very positive feedback from every side if the addictive spectrum. Mostly saying it’s simple to understand ( that was one of the primary goals) and most saying they could identify some of the traits in themselves.

#5 – Are you working on any new books/projects you can tell us about?

I am not currently working on anything around writing, but with the a colleague Sara Graham have started a LGTB recovery group every Tuesday in Harley Street. We thing it’s a needed resource and have gone out of our way to make it accessible and affordable ( it’s £20 per week). Also with my company looking at expanding our range of therapy.

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