The Outside-the-Box Recovery Workbook: Professional Information.
“The Outside-the-Box Recovery Workbook is AMAZING. Innovative, fresh, thorough, and thoughtful, it provides a solid action-plan for recovery that is not only extremely helpful but also extremely engaging.” – RANDY WITHERS, MA, LCMHC, LCAS
“This workbook is well-written in an informal, friendly, laid back and at times, comic style, although the subject matter and information are serious and ask the reader to be introspective, to seriously review their behaviors and choices.” – LISA M LORELLI, DO
Finally, an evidence-based and fun recovery manual.
Written by psychiatrist Kim Rosenthal, MD, the Outside-the-Box Recovery Workbook is the first substance use disorder treatment manual to combine mainstream interventions with research-proven complementary approaches like creativity and humor.
But why creativity and humor? Because they work! Studies show that people are much more likely to pursue and stick with treatment if there’s an element of joy in the process.
Not only do creativity and fun maintain client interest, they also promote healing. Art therapy provides a nonverbal, safe way to process difficult issues, a key treatment approach for individuals in early recovery where verbal comprehension, concentration, and organization are often challenging. Expressive and narrative therapies help clients stand back and see their lives from a distance, giving them room to face their issues safely from afar until they’re ready to process the details. Humor and laughter trigger endorphins, which improve well-being in a population that often struggles with dysphoria.
In the age of COVID, where isolation and substance use disorders are more rampant than ever, we as providers desperately need new ways to augment what we’re already doing. The Outside-the-Box Recovery Workbook does this by broadening your arsenal of therapeutic tools. Together, we save lives.
About the book.
By way of a 30-session program and clinically-oriented recommendations for each handout, this book helps clinicians help clients not only survive addiction but pause and enjoy recovery. 30 sessions is long enough to draw clients into treatment without overwhelming them.
Treatment modalities include:
- Motivational Therapy
- Relapse prevention
- CBT/DBT/Matrix Model
- Coping and Life Skill Training
- Narrative Therapy
- Art and Expressive/Writing Therapy
- Positive Psychology
More specifically, the workbook uses a dialectical approach, seeking the reader’s opinion frequently, and offering interesting twists to keep their attention. It avoids clinical jargon. It keeps narrative short and balances words with open space and quirky illustrations. To make the book more affordable and easier to copy, the artwork is in black and white.
Handouts range from 2-4 pages in length. Each includes a “Reflection” section. Almost all can be completed in a single session. The book is a workbook, and clients should be encouraged to record answers, draw, color, and take notes inside. Alternatively, providers can make copies of individual worksheets and distribute them. Most don’t need to be done in order.
In addition to the 30 main worksheets, the Outside-the-Box Recovery Workbook also features a relapse prevention plan, multiple “take-a-break” puzzles, and sections on “What to do when you finish this book” and “What to do if you relapse.”
First of three workbooks.
This is the first of a 3-part series.
Books 2 and 3 will continue to emphasize relapse prevention and urge-management, as well as explore cognitive restructuring, positive psychology, confidence-building, problem-solving, mindfulness, journaling, creativity, and an assortment of coping skills. That means multiple-choice poetry, inventions, and more humor coming right up.
This book can be purchased on Amazon. Parts 2 and 3 will be available in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
About the Author and OTB Recovery
When she isn’t hitting people over the head with addiction recovery workbooks, Dr. Kim Rosenthal practices life as a psychiatrist.
She earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and specialized in psychiatry at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. She’s certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She’s practiced medicine in eight different states, as well as did some training in Asturias, Spain.
Over the past 20 years, the author has cared for tens of thousands of people with mental health and substance use disorders, in locations ranging from hospitals, clinics, detox units, and rehabs to forensic centers, VA’s, nursing homes, ACT teams, and day hospitals. These days she practices medicine in a state teaching hospital in North Carolina.
The author started the Outside-the-Box Recovery movement to promote a lust for sober living through art, poetry, reflection, puzzles, humor, and other *clinically-relevant* recovery material. The author figures, if one person’s life can be saved, all the drawing and writing and bad jokes are worth it.
So far, the movement has travelled a long way. It’s shown up in state and federal facilities, private hospitals, day programs, prisons, clinics, and rehabs all over the United States — and as far away as Australia and South Africa! Thanks to everyone who’s supported this endeavor. Truth is, we’re just starting, and together we’ve got millions and millions of lives to save!