A Therapist’s Guide to Tackling Addiction and Compulsions

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We Are All Addicts by Carder Stout, Ph.D.

What are you addicted to? Most people would instinctively answer “Nothing!” But if you really think about it, is that the truth? According to psychologist Dr. Carder Stout, we’re all addicts, even if we don’t realize it. Beyond alcohol, drugs and sex — which are most commonly thought of as addictions in our society — are the things that capture every person: success, exercise, fame, food, love, looking younger and even our phones.

If addiction is such a common problem, what can we do about it? In Stout’s new book, We Are All Addicts: The Soul’s Guide to Kicking Your Compulsions (Viva Editions), he offers a guide to understanding addiction, reframing it and overcoming it.

An Author Who Knows His Subject Intimately

Carder Stout isn’t just a psychologist and psychotherapist, he is “an expert in the field of addiction — living it, treating it, writing about it”. In his memoir, Lost in Ghost Town, he details his struggles with drug addiction and disordered eating, his proximity to fame which kept him trapped at a low point, and what it finally took to get him on the road to recovery.

Now nearly 18 years sober, Carder Stout has decades of wisdom to share. 

At the foundation of Carder Stout’s guide is the sentiment that addiction is not a disease, as we’ve been led to believe by society. He defines addiction as “a cluster of obsessive thoughts followed by compulsive actions.” The cure? Turning inwards and treating the soul. 

“The soul is your biggest asset. It is the most powerful healing apparatus that exists. In fact, its very structure is created to mend what is broken in you.” Stout recommends responding to obsessive thoughts with positive actions that embody self-love, like reading, looking at a family photo, or journaling.

The Archetypes of Addiction

Addiction is an archetype, according to Stout. There are experiences, patterns and beliefs that everyone understands and can relate to. The emotions and feelings we experience unite and connect us. But archetypes, Stout writes, “have the ability to overtake our innate character and designate whom we become.” And that is precisely how these obsessive thoughts become compulsive actions — and therefore, addictions. He explores five universal archetypes and asks readers to reflect on which ones connect the most with them.

The following chapters discuss a number of addictions. He speaks on vanity and fame through the lens of his experience as a therapist to celebrities. In a chapter called “Frustration, Annoyance and Resentment” he proposes compassion as a solution to these emotions.

The chapter on alcohol and drugs is the most captivating, because it is a core part of Stout’s own lived experience and touches on something that the everyday person is most familiar with. He reframes the narrative on alcohol and drug addiction, and suggests that “the energy of addiction is best managed by spiritual means — that is, through a willingness to embrace your soul.”

In the chapter on smartphones, Stout expresses the unarguable sentiment that phones have gotten in the way of our capacity to connect with other people. He affirms that smartphones are the adult version of a security blanket, and we have become too dependent. He recommends distancing yourself, returning to analog ways of life, and setting aside time to experience the world authentically.

The book covers sex and love, eating and not eating, work and success, exaggeration and lies, and the future in the past. He implores the reader ask themselves questions like, “What is a healthy relationship to food?” or “How do we define success?” and “How do we remain in the present?”

Accessible, Fascinating and Helpful Guide for Readers

Throughout We Are All Addicts, Stout writes with incredible clarity, defining basic concepts for unfamiliar readers and making sure the ideas he presents are accessible to anyone. The also book includes footnotes at the bottom of most pages citing psychologists, research studies, and scientific papers. With written, spoken, and mental exercises at the end of each section, the author guides readers toward mindfulness and self-reflection that will be crucial in treating their addictions.

Dr. Carder Stout presents readers with a helpful, informative, and inspiring guidebook that everybody and anybody can learn something from. Because, after all, we are all addicts.

About Dr. Carder Stout:

Dr. Carder Stout, Ph.D. is a Los Angeles-based psychologist who specializes in depth psychology—the process of uncovering hidden, self-destructive tendencies—and treats anxiety, depression, addiction and trauma. Stout is the producer of three award-winning independent films, which opened doors to meeting, and eventually treating, celebrities in the entertainment industry. Stout, himself an addict, has been in recovery for 17 years and describes his grueling experience with drugs and alcohol in his memoir, Lost in Ghost Town. His self-help book We Are All Addicts will be published in January 2023.

In addition to his practice and his philanthropic work, Stout is a frequent contributor to Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop, The Huffington Post and has written for musician Alanis Morisette’s health and wellness website, and Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. He has been featured in Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, The Evening Standard, Washington Life, Eden and The Purist Magazines, on Larry King, Good Day LA, ABC News, Fox, Spectrum 1 News and Lenonard Lopate Radio. A graduate from Trinity College with a BA in creative writing, Stout earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. He lives on a hillside in the Santa Monica mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean with his wife and two children.

We Are All Addicts by Carder Stout, Ph.D.

Publish Date: 1/10/2023

Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help

Author: Carder Stout, Ph.D.

Page Count: 188 pages

Publisher: ​​Viva Editions

ISBN: 9781632280817

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