Where did you come from?
If you’ve reached this page out of the blue, welcome and thanks for visiting! The following is a detailed overview of psychiatrist Dr. Kim Rosenthat’s book Wacky and Wonderful Recovery Workbook (WW). If fate and motivation allow, the book will be available in 2021…
For a general introduction to WW, visit the WW Workbook page.
If you’re NOT here out of the blue, welcome back! Here’s a recap:
What is WW?
WW is a workbook for people in recovery. It engages the reader in a 100-day journey through a world where sobriety comes with a personal cheer-leader and everything always turns out okay. It’s hard work. It’s also playful and creative. The workbook is awash with cartoons, artwork, unusual math equations, and a flare of the bizarre. It’s about recovery work and survival skills. It’s also about poetry and coloring.
Actually the book’s got a lot more: recovery plans, alter egos, fiction-writing, puzzles, and idiomatic phrases. What’s the purpose? To stay clean and sober. To seize the NOW. And, when ready, to seize the FUTURE.
WW is written for people in early to late recovery. It’s also for providers to use with clients. It can be used as a primary therapy-driven workbook or as a supplement to other therapies, including 12-step programming.
Types of Worksheets
There are different types of worksheets.
(1) The simple answer. The workbook is divided into 13 sections, ranging from addiction, change, coping skills, and brain exercises to playfulness, creativity, and meaning. There’s a Recovery Plan and two “what to do if you relapse” plans.
(2) The complex answer. WW worksheets can be divided into two groups. “Mainstream” and “outside-the-box.” The book has both.
Mainstream handouts are based on “standard of care” clinical practice. That includes motivational enhancement therapy, relapse prevention, coping skill therapy, cognitive & dialectical behavioral therapies, the MATRIX model, mindfulness, narrative therapy, and other contemporary interventions. Studies show this stuff works. WW takes these mainstream “interventions” and offers them in a new light. Examples from the book include:
- Emergency urge management card
- Dealing with triggers
- Mending broken relationships
- Listening mindfulness
- Rewriting perspective
Outside-the-box includes brain exercises and coloring mindfulness, as well as art, writing, poetry, journaling, and narrative therapies. Most of these handouts are mainstream mixed with a flair of the unusual. This group includes worksheets like
- Creating an alter ego
- Picasso drawing
- Writing poetry and fiction
A little more about “outside the box” worksheets: they’re evidence-based
Studies show that brain exercises (cognitive rehabilitation) and creative arts therapy reduce risk of relapse.
Creative art therapy. When combined with mainstream treatment, creativity improves mood, well-being, and abstinence rate. It gives people a safe canvas to process life challenges. Creativity is also a doorway to discovery. Amidst the challenges of sobriety, the reader finds themselves.
Cognitive rehabilitation. Drugs and alcohol injure brain cells. Injured brain cells mean problems with impulsivity, judgment, concentration, information-processing, memory, and higher level cognitive tasks. The brain does heal, but it takes 1-2 of clean-time to return to “normal.” According to latest research, brainteasers and other thought-provoking tasks jumpstart cognitive healing in people with addiction.
From WW, “How to take care of a WW Workbook:”
“The first step: open the workbook. (Since you’re reading this sentence, we assume the book is already open. We’re excited about your progress!) Next, grab a pen, turn to page 1, and fill in the blanks. There are questions to answer, lists to make, mazes to solve, and poetry to be written. A warning: WW gets moody when ignored. It’s given to copping an attitude and playing late-night goth/industrial techno at top volume when abandoned.”
From WW, an excerpt from the “Dear Dr. Rosenthal” Section:
Question: “Dr. Rosenthal, why don’t you write a book about something interesting, like racecars or shoes or ponies? Or a romance? Why don’t you write a romance novel? Does it always have to be about Recovery?
Answer: “Thanks for asking. That’s next on our agenda, the Wacky and Wonderful Workbook of Race Cars, Shoes, Ponies… and Recovery.” It’s scheduled for publication…eventually. (Sorry, we shy away from romance novels.)”
Life was challenging. But Clyde’s ACME Protective Suit kept him safe from all harm. He felt invincible, except that he couldn’t move an inch.
Return to the main WW Workbook page.