Based on the author's 18 years of experience supervising group therapists, this quintessentially practical book is designed to help practitioners think through and formulate appropriate strategies in their clinical work. Utilizing many clinical examples, and providing explanations throughout for her interventions, Vannicelli pays special attention to the therapeutic stance -- where the clinician positions him or herself in relation to the patient, and why; and how various strategies and techniques maximize the patient's opportunity for therapeutic growth. A hallmark of Dr. Vannicelli's approach, richly illustrated in this work, is her sensitivity to countertransference and the ways it can be used productively in clinical practice.
"This book provides a wealth of practical material for therapists conducting long-term psychodynamic group therapy with substance abusers, adult children of alcoholics, and other family members....Regardless of theoretical orientation, readers will benefit from the author's considerable clinical experience in conducting group therapy with this client population." --G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., Director of The Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington "In this book Dr. Vannicelli has brought together all of the important information needed by a beginning or experienced therapist interested in treating substance abusers and their families. In addition to nuts and bolts information about patient selection, assessment, group organization and functioning, the author provides a rich array of clinical examples and guidance in handling the difficulties that regularly arise in ongoing groups. With a minimum of theory and a maximum of practical guidance, REMOVING THE ROADBLOCKS is a valuable resource to any clinician."
--Sheila B. Blume, M.D.
"An important contribution to the field. Thoughtfully discusses the practice of group psychotherapy with substance abuse patients and describes a comprehensive and eminently practical approach to clinical work. I know of no practitioner in the field who would not benefit from this book." --Irvin Yalom, M.D. .,."she proceeds to deliver exactly what she proposes. This is the beauty and the strength of the book." --"International Journal of Group Psychotherapy"
.,."an excellent book on the topic and is a worthy follow-up to the author's earlier book. This is more of a book on 'how to' than 'why.'" --"International Journal of Group Psychotherapy"
"The reader gradually begins to realize that they are in the presence' of an author who is very organized and systematic in her approach to treating addiction in group. This is a theme that runs smoothly and consistently throughout the entire book. Her approach is very clean, very precise. It is well thought out, clearly defined, succinctly organized, and systematically applied. Not only do the readers get the opportunity to witness how a skilled practitioner works in group; they are also privy to a demonstration of how an experienced supervisor's mind works in organizing strategies that will help move through or around common roadblocks or resistances to treatment with substance abusers, their family members, and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA's). Reading Vannicelli's book reminded me of an early experience I had after I completed Yalom's classic text, "The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy," when it was first published in 1970. There was a refreshing absence of abstruse, abstract, and ponderous theorizing in his book. Here was a book that could be used! It was practical and applicable....This is an excellent book....The is more of a book on how-to' than why'. The book will likely appeal to the novice and middle-level experienced practitioner. Those group leaders who know a great deal about group theory and little about addictionwill also find it very helpful, however....She brings together solid psychodynamic theory with group treatment and organizes it all in a very systematic way so that it can be readily applied to a specific population of patients who usually provide many treatment difficulties for most practitioners." --"International Journal of Group Psychotherapy"
"The author has demonstrates a talent for combining theoretical and clinical material in a style that is lucid and easily readable. The reader can sense immediately that this is a book written by a seasoned clinician who shares her broad experience gleaned from working with substance-abusing subjects in the group setting...Dr. Vannicelli offers the reader a 'road map' for negotiating the challenging terrain of group work with substance-abusing individuals. Her trouble-shooting orientation coupled with creative solutions to psychotherapeutic roadblocks makes this book a valuable addition to the clinical literature in this field." --"The American Journal on Addictions"
"This book, Vannicelli's most recent work, thoughtfully addresses many issues at the interface between group and family therapies as applied to the treatment of addictive disorders...chapters are filled with vivid case vignettes and clinical material, which helps explicate the actual process of leading substance abuse groups...Her unique ability to create a pragmatic treatment model based upon sound theoretical constructs and to transmit it to both patients and colleagues in a clear and nonpatronizing manner has been a hallmark of her approach over the years...Vannicelli offers the reader a guide for understanding and traversing the challenging terrain of group work withsubstance abusers. Her problem-solving orientation, coupled with creative solutions to psychotherapeutic roadblocks, makes this book a valuable addition to the clinical literature in the field. She goes far beyond merely echoing the consensus among group therapists that getting the addiction under control is the first priority for successful therapy; she actually offers a program for how to accomplish this task. Furthermore, Vannicelli realizes that abstinence is but one of the many critical dimensions of effective substance abuse treatment and provides both the novice and experienced clinician with insights that will prove to be invaluable in the actual conduct of group psychotherapy with the substance abuser and his/her family." --"Group: The Journal of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society"
"This is a splendid book about a very complicated subject. Throughout the pages, the author demonstrates her competence, talent, breadth of knowledge and rich experience, sharing with the reader in a compelling and personal style that makes reading enjoyable as well as thought-provoking. Situations from her own extensive practice are presented so vividly and understandably that I found myself reading on eagerly to find out how Vannicelli would bring the problem to some kind of therapeutic resolution..That is what makes this book so remarkable is the author's ability to conceptualize her experience...What is additionally remarkable is the author's ability to conceptualize her experience...The beauty of the author's presentation is the clarity and candor with which she takes responsibility for her own positions...Every professional, who cares about groups and worked with people in groups, whether in this particular kind of group among the many in the treatment of substance abuse or in any field of human service, can enjoy greatly the reading of this book and can learn much from it." --"Social Work with Groups"
"Ms. Vannicelli offers yet another major contribution to the field of group psychotherapy with the substance abuse population...The author offers a thorough discussion of treatment issues with clear, comprehensive, and practical approaches and interventions, especially with group resistances, 'the roadblocks.'...With great frankness and sensitivity, this book also addresses such perplexing areas as countertransference and the therapeutic stance. The issues of co-therapy and group leader preparation training are explored in an open and straightforward manner. The book is invaluable for substance abuse therapists. Experienced and novice alike will find useful tools to add to their own clinical repertoire. Ms. Vannicelli presents dynamically oriented group psychotherapy with substance abusers and their families at its finest." --"Journal of Family Psychotherapy"
"Vannicelli's approach is applicable for both beginning and experienced level therapists, so that professionals who are new to the substance abuse field, as well as seasoned clinicians will likely find the material presented in this volume to be fresh, challenging, and innovative." --"International Journal of Group Psychotherapy"
"This book is highly recommended for anyone currently working in the chemical dependency field or in the mental health field. It will also be very useful to those enrolled in paraprofessional or graduate school programs in counseling." --"Journal of Psychoactive Drugs"
This book more than lives up to the promise provided by the author to be an invaluable clinical tool. Geared to mental health professionals at all levels--be they students, neophytes, or experienced practitioners--as well as those involved in course work in social work, nursing, psychology, and other disciplines or paraprofessionals who work with substance abusers, this text will engender insight, expertise, and ideas for psychotherapeutic intervention with substance abusers and their collaterals.' --"Families in Society"
The text can be used by nurses to assess and treat persons with addiction problems....The group psychotherapy skills described in it can be self taught through study and clinical experience.' --"Perspectives on Addictions Nursing"
A practical, nuts and bolts approach to extended, dynamically oriented outpatient therapy with a variety of populations....Amply illustrated with case material, the book addresses rationale, setting up and beginning groups, dealing with resistances, termination, and leader training.' --"Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic "