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New book explores addictions and treatment

New Book Explores Addictions and Treatment
USC School of Social Work adjunct professor Margaret Fetting

A new book by USC School of Social Work adjunct professor Margaret Fetting draws on her 30 years of clinical experience in chemical dependency treatment to offer a comprehensive and reflective overview of the field, as well as an imaginative treatment model.

In Perspectives on Addiction: An Integrative Treatment Model With Clinical Case Studies (Sage Publications), Fetting outlines the underlying causes and consequences of substance use disorders and presents a reader-friendly guide to developing effective treatment skills.

“It’s a lively, nuanced and creative way to capture what is sitting across from you as a clinician,” she said.

Designed for students and clinicians who come in contact with and treat individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders, the book expands traditional definitions and offers meaningful insights inspired by the author’s students, theorists and those in recovery.

“The book has been a work-in-progress all this time with influences from my clinical work and my students,” she said. “I get a lot of input from both students and patients, which I value a great deal.”

Edward J. Khantzian of Harvard Medical School wrote in a review of the book that Fetting covers all the bases of the drugs, the societal contexts, the theories and treatments, and astutely addresses the dogmas and controversies that have plagued the field of addiction theory and practice.

“She effectively captures and conveys the treacherous aspect of relapse but also the hopeful prospect for the clinician and patient to find pathways for transitioning from using addictive substance to considering imaginative avenues for recovery,” he added.

By highlighting therapeutic action moments that describe effective interaction between patient and clinician, Fetting demonstrates growth and change experiences during four developmental stages of recovery. In addition, the book presents 12 progressive profiles of substance use and its disorders, compared to just two categories for substance abuse and dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Fetting also integrates aspects of psychoanalytical theory into her developmental model of recovery ¬- an approach she hopes will help practitioners address the individual suffering behind addiction and reduce instances of relapse among patients.

A licensed clinical social worker with more than three decades of experience in the substance dependence and abuse field, Fetting has taught at the USC School of Social Work since 1989 and maintains a private practice in Santa Monica.

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