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Meditation long used to treat addictions: Dr Norman Rosenthal
by Global Good News staff writer
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28 December 2012
There is a precedent and a place for meditation in the addiction recovery process, said eminent psychiatrist, researcher, and author Dr Norman Rosenthal.
Dr Rosenthal is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown Medical School, and previously was a researcher for over 20 years at the (US) National Institute of Mental Health, where he led the team that first described Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation.
Speaking at a recent conference on Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery in Washington, D.C., Dr Rosenthal talked primarily about the role of Transcendental Meditation in recovery from addiction.
'We are all clear that addictions are complex behavioural problems,' he said. 'There are many factors involved—whether it is genetic, whether it is comorbid mental illness, whether it is the environment, whether it is just access to very potent substances—these are all involved in the complex topic of addictions. Of course the solutions are equally complicated and multifactorial.'
But Dr Rosenthal has found success with one simple solution: Transcendental Meditation.
He said, 'What is really fascinating to me, and what we're here to talk about tonight, is how one particular technique can make a major difference in helping to contain, control, and bring order to some of these chaotic conditions. That [technique] is Transcendental Meditation.'
The idea of using meditation to treat addiction is not a new one. Dr Rosenthal brought up step 11 in the commonly used 12-step programme. This step encourages the use of prayer and meditation.
The point he was making, Dr Rosenthal said, 'is that deeply embedded in this recovery process is an awareness that a reflective, self-reflexive technique is crucially important in sustaining recovery.'
Global Good News will continue to feature Dr Rosenthal's address at the Washington, D.C., conference, in which he went on to talk about transcendence and the different types of meditation. He also explained why Transcendental Meditation is so effective.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Dr Norman Rosenthal addresses conference on stress, addiction, and Transcendental Meditation
∙ Using Transcendental Meditation in addiction recovery: Dr Norman Rosenthal
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