Freedom from Addiction: The Chopra Center Method for Overcoming Destructive Habits

David Simon, Author, Deepak Chopra, Author . HCI $14.95 (218p) ISBN 978-0-7573-0578-8

With the Chopra imprimatur, this is likely to find an eager audience. Holistic medicine star Chopra and Simon (cofounder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, in California) are nonjudgmental and compassionate toward those struggling with cravings. They begin with the premise that the core needs of people with addictions are no different from those of other people and that addicts are on a spiritual quest, even if they are not aware of it. In the authors' holistic view, “The challenge addiction presents is finding nourishing substitutions to fulfill your deep underlying needs for love, self-esteem, safety, and meaning in your life.” Yet their method, which involves a purifying Ayurvedic diet, yoga asanas, twice-daily meditation and clearing of past emotional hurts, might be too challenging for people suffering from the chaos of addiction to manage on their own. This isn't helped by character profiles that are vague about what happened to these people in the recovery process. It would have been useful for readers to know exactly how effective the Chopra Center's methods are, compared with traditional rehab or 12-step programs. Nonetheless, the Ayurvedic flavor is an interesting twist on Western methods, which rely so heavily on group therapy. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/05/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
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