Effective Addiction Treatment: The Minnesota Alternative

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Effective Addiction Treatment: The Minnesota Alternative is a book which provides an easy to read, practice guide for addiction counselors, that emphasizes best practices and person-centered care. You can see a review by Psych Central at:


  1. Effective Addiction Treatment: The Minnesota Alternative provides a framework for implementing a 21st century, effective, addiction treatment program. 
  2. This practice guide is humanistic and pragmatic and it facilitates natural recovery by empowering clients to make use of their innate strengths. 
  3. It incorporates cutting-edge, evidence-based best practices including mindfulness, cognitive behavioral strategies, neuroscience, individualized treatment planning, harm reduction, motivational and person-centered care.

The Reviews: 

"Inspired by research evidence about best practices and what actually works. This compelling and progressive guide is truly the best practice guide for addiction counselors. I am excited to use it as a key training resource with our students. Paula's visionary work should be guiding and informing the practice of every clinician. Our field would be much better off. More importantly, so would our clients."


-Julie Rohovit, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Program Director, Masters of Professional Studies in Integrated Behavioral Health and Addiction Studies Certificates


"Encyclopedic yet compact, positive and uplifting, without minimizing the challenges of recovery, based on hard science, and written with the contagious passion of a highly dedicated professional."


-Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, President, Practical Recovery, President, SMART Recovery Author: Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions


"The "Minnesota Alternative Model" brings a refreshing change. It combines elements of modern neuroscience, Eastern religions, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and psychoeducation in a practical, truly "person-centered" format that has established proven success."


-Kevin Turnquist, M.D., Board Certified Psychiatrist, Touchstone Mental Health/ State of Minnesota


"The book you hold in your hands is a model for implementing a 21st century addiction treatment program. I believe that this program is destined to be not the alternative, but the standard of care in the future."


-Kenneth Anderson Founder and CEO, HAMS Harm Reduction for Alcohol


"Along with her humanity and her awareness of the need for alternatives, Ms. DeSanto brings an inspiring manner, fortified by her familiarity and use of, the entire range of evidence-based helping techniques, as filtered through her own long personal experience as a helper."


-Stanton Peele, Ph.D. Founder of the Life Process Program for addiction treatment


"Her book utilizes recent finding in neuroscience as well as ancient traditions like meditation to describe a treatment for addictions that is comprehensive yet person-centered. Bravo Ms. DeSanto!"


-Bruce Field, M.D. Medical Director, Building Resilient Families, Resource Recovery Center Staff Psychiatrist, Center for International Health, Consulting Psychiatrist, Center for Victims of Torture


"Minnesota Alternative's is among those few programs based on current research about how best to help those who want either to reduce their consumption or to abstain. It integrates harm reduction, the utilization of neuroplasticity, motivational techniques, and other proven strategies in its person-centered approach."


-David J. Hanson, Ph.D.Professor Emeritus of Sociology of the State University of New York at Potsdam

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