This eagerly anticipated second book by the very highly regarded authority on active addiction and recovery therefrom, Mark Dempster, is laced with priceless life experience that allows the reader – whether professional or secular – to identify with the colourful and caring human being Mark is; the title naturally suggestive of the readership this reservoir of recovery resources is designed for.
Mark has also reflected the breadth and depth of his professional knowledge and experience, infusing the factual material with personal highlights and case studies to illustrate treatment rationale while an addendum of recommended books for further research and self-therapy contribute to each chapter. There is also assignment-related material linked to the book that can be accessed from Mark’s website.
Of particular value is the up-to-the-minute inclusion of neuroscience developments related to both chemical and process addiction, while highlighting gambling, eating disorders and the phenomenal growth of internet and sex addiction for what they are: seductive behavioural indulgences of the modern era requiring urgent intervention.
Pragmatically well-presented, reflecting an overall holistic approach; Mark’s book is perhaps somewhat unique for its focus on the achievement of personal ambition and the restoration of self-esteem by way of a creative ‘vision statement’ reinforced by assertively challenging negative thinking and recognising the value of moderate diet and exercise as ‘tools’ for ‘ongoing’ recovery from active addiction while pursuing one’s ambition.
Mark’s passion for recovery and genuine willingness to help others – particularly those still struggling – is evident on every page of this concise explication of addictive disorders that offers self-intervention strategies while also providing contact details for professional and peer-support assistance.
Mark’s book can be recommended for these reasons alone, although the pace and content of the narrative is far from dull reading; unambiguously emphasising ‘ongoing’ self-effort and engagement with Recovery Fellowships, which – in correspondence with Mark’s poignantly inspirational summary – is the restorative inference so beautifully conveyed in the title.
The Ongoing Path is well-written and very highly recommended for the reasons outlined. (325 words).
John George Graham