Thinking About Drugs And Addiction

by Richard Gray, Ph.D.

Richard M Gray, Ph.D. is the creator of the “Brooklyn Program” for addiction treatment.  Richard is the recipient of the 2004 Neuro-linguistic Programming World Community Award in Education; the author of Archetypal Explorations (Routledge, 1996) and multiple articles.(more)

One of the central difficulties in thinking effectively about drugs and addictions lies in the fact that the whole business is befuddled by propaganda, outdated information and superstition. NLP brings some wonderful tools to the discussion but before those tools can be effective, we need to clear the air.

Whenever people begin to talk about drugs (including alcohol) the following ideas are trumpeted as fact:

· Addiction is a progressive chronic disease that ends in death.
· There is some identifiable thing called addiction.
· All drug use inevitably leads to addiction.
· Certain drugs have the specific property of being addictive.
· Certain people are born with addictive personalities.

In a real sense, not one of these ideas is ‘true’. Each of them is a generalization or distortion that proceeds from the medical and moral models of addiction that have framed most of our thinking about drugs and alcohol. They have also crippled our capacity to deal effectively with the concept of addictions.

Anciently, and far into the Twentieth Century, addiction was treated as a moral failing. It was a sin or error of excess. It was proof positive of the presence of some lack of personal virtue, self-control or will power. Addicts were sinners or idiots. Through most of American history, the addict’s ruin was viewed as just desserts but the toll taken on long-suffering family members and business associates was scandalous. (Shattuck, 1994).
In the 1930s, when Bill Wilson and his associates put together the basic ideas of Alcoholics Anonymous, they decided that alcoholism (and later, drug addiction more generally) should be treated as a disease of the spirit. They held that alcoholism, while rooted in moral failings and character defects, had its final manifestation as disease.
Although the disease concept was originally designed as a metaphor with the intent of saving addicts from humiliation, in 1956 the AMA accorded alcoholism the medical status of disease. From then on the idea of addiction-as-disease gained momentum and was finally concretized through the growth of the huge business concerns that developed around it. The medicalization of addiction came to full fruition in the Minnesota Model which immortalized the definition of addiction as a chronic, progressive disease that ultimately ends in death (Laundergan, 1983; Doweiko,1996; Mann and Heinz, 2000; Peele, 1989; Peele and Brodsky, 1991).

There are multiple reasons for arguing against the idea that addictions are diseases. Here, however, we will focus only on the fact that the disease concept implies a level of brokenness and biological stasis that limits creative thinking about the problem. From an NLP perspective, and from the perspective of a growing body of neuroscience, it may be useful to think of addictions as a set of over-learned and over-valued behaviors.
In a later section of the paper we will look at how addiction works and how it affects values hierarchies and preference criteria. When we look at addictions from that perspective we will see that they are not diseases but powerful preferences.

The Thing We Call Addiction

Nominalizations are powerful distortions of reality. By turning a set of actions or symptoms into a static label we often miss the dynamic reality of the problem itself. In the case of addictions, we are often so blinded by the label that we miss the underlying utility of the behavior and the fact that it serves or has served some practical use in the life in question. In NLP these are described as positive intentions (O’Connor and Seymour, 1990; Bandler and Grinder, 1975).

Over the course of a lifetime, ‘addictions’ ebb and flow. For some persons, allegedly chronic, progressive addictions disappear for years and then suddenly reappear. For others, a terrible addiction suddenly goes away forever. These are not the behaviors of things. They are qualities of concepts; expressions of personal behaviors that are active in some contexts and dormant in others. Like other behavioral preferences, addictions are bound to contexts. Contexts may relate to persons, places, things, environments, self-definitions and mood.

In many cases, just being away from certain people or contexts ends the need to engage in the behavior. For others, the geographical cure, moving away, works. Stanton Peele reports how the Veterans Administration prepared huge resources to meet the anticipated flood of addicted GIs returning from Viet Nam. They knew that many of our soldiers had developed significant heroin addictions while in the service and expected that they would need a great deal of help when they returned home to the US. When they returned, however, levels of addiction dropped dramatically to the precise levels appropriate to the communities in which the GIs lived. Diseases do not respond to social context (Peele and Brodsky, 1991).

For our purposes, it may be useful to think about ‘addictions’ as reifications of patterns of behavior. They are not real things, but things that are solidified into illusory realities by the words we use. They are conjured into existence by the labels we apply to them. What happens when we begin to think of preferences and skills instead of diseases?
If we think of an addiction as a set of (often unconscious) preferences, we may then be able to discover another set of preferences that are more valuable than the problem substance or behavior. If we know the utility of the problem behavior, it may be possible to find behaviors that are more useful, more immediate and more intuitive than these others. This analysis was suggested by Bandler and Grinder in the mid 1970s. If we can find an ultimate set of criteria, we stand the chance of ‘outframing’ the entire problem (Bandler and Grinder, 1979, 1982; Hall, 1996).

If we begin to think of addictions as learned skill sets that come to be preferred patterns of action, what happens if we find a generalized pattern of behavior that works more effectively? If we create a new set of behaviors, beliefs or experiences that serve the purposes of social integration, positive self-regard, transcendence, etc., what happens to the addiction?

One of the interesting facets of the interface between the concepts of addiction-as-disease and addiction-as-skill-set is that you never really lose a skill. Once it’s learned, it can always be revived. It may take a little practice but, like bicycle riding, it is always there. How does this differ from the chronic nature of addictions? If addiction is the skill of solving every problem by artificially, and momentarily transcending it, is it unreasonable that when other strategies fail, the problem behavior recurs? Just so, if the new behaviors are sufficiently rewarding, the old skill may never be needed again.

The idea that drug use inevitably leads to addiction is conceptually the same as saying that kissing makes you pregnant. While it is necessarily true that you have to have the first drink in order to become an alcoholic, it does not follow that having a drink will inevitably lead you to alcoholism. Part of the problem here lies in the demonization of mind altering substances. Because our culture lacks appropriate rules and guidelines for the use of psychotropic substances, we project upon them the shadow of the unknown. Because our culture focuses so insistently on conscious process, every appeal to unconscious process is viewed with suspicion (Furst, 1976; Gray, 1996, Zoja, 1996).

Addiction is not a property of chemical agents, it is about how people use the substances and behaviors. One of the key things that modern neuroscience tells us is that addiction is a property of brains that are functioning normally.

Neuroscience and addiction

In recent years, cognitive neuroscience has shed significant light on the problems of addiction and substance abuse. These researches have uncovered a close relationship between drug addictions, behavioral addictions, compulsions and more normal patterns of reward and motivation. Central to this information are the ideas that drug and behavioral addictions are not problems with the ‘hedonic impact’ of the reinforcing agent (‘liking’ the drug), but they are problems related to ‘wanting’ or ‘craving’ the agent. They have called the measure of wanting, incentive salience. A second important discovery is that the mechanism of craving or incentive salience is mediated by neurons in the midbrain that produce dopamine. The midbrain dopamine tract runs from the Ventral Tegmental Area at the base of the brain; through the Nucleus Accumbens, at the base of the Ventral Striatum; and finally ending at the Orbito-Frontal Cortex, the apparent control center for motivation and wanting in general (Ruden,1997; Schultz, Dayan and Montague, 1997; Robinson and Berridge, 2001; ; Waelti, Dickenson, and Schultz, 2001; Robinson, 2004; Tobler, Fiorillo and Schultz, 2005)

For a long time, it was believed that people got hooked on drugs or other substances and behaviors because they felt good. While this is certainly part of the reason, it doesn’t explain why, even after substances or behaviors cease to produce the same ‘whack’, people continue to seek them out. The ‘feeling good’ interpretation of behavioral addiction violates some of the cardinal principles of behavioral psychology. Every addictive drug, every behavioral addiction, and every learned behavior is subject to habituation. This means that the more exposure you have to something, the less effective it becomes. When a behavior ceases to be rewarding, the behavior becomes less probable. At some point, the stimulus stops evoking the trained response and the response is said to have been extinguished.

By this rule, most substances of abuse and most behavioral addictions should disappear on their own as they become less and less rewarding. However, even though, over time, addicts report lessened pleasure from the drug or behavior (decreased hedonic impact), they complain that they still want the drug. This has led researchers to focus not on the pleasure that drugs impart (hedonic impact) but on their ability to create craving or wanting (incentive salience). It is this factor, craving or wanting, that is mediated by the midbrain dopamine system (Robinson and Berridge,2001).

Incentive salience connects to neurophysiology through a series of experiments on single dopaminergic neurons and neural implants measuring the response of the neurons to various stimulus conditions. In general, researchers found that the midbrain dopamine system responds in very specific and predictable ways. First, it responds powerfully to novel rewards. Whenever rewards appear in an unexpected context, these neurons respond vigorously. Second, the brain seeks “the difference that makes a difference”. If a stimulus fully predicts a reward or if it predicts decreasing reward, the neuronal response decreases and often disappears (This is the neural root of habituation.). Third, if the stimulus predicts a reward that appears reliably but increases in value relative to other recent rewards, the neurons again increase the intensity of their response (Schultz, Dayan and Montague, 1997; Robinson and Berridge, 2001; Waelti, Dickenson, and Schultz, 2001; Robinson, 2004; Tobler, Fiorillo and Schultz, 2005).

This data relates to addiction in the following ways:

Novelty is a crucial part of the value accorded to addictive behaviors and substances (Schultz, Dayan and Montague, 1997; Robinson and Berridge, 2001; Waelti, Dickenson, and Schultz, 2001; Robinson, 2004; Tobler, Fiorillo and Schultz, 2005). From a Jungian perspective, Luigi Zoja (1990) links addiction to a failed attempt at transcendence. Addicts and drug abusers are often seeking a new spiritual perspective but end up trapped in a consumerist nightmare. There is a huge literature on relapse prevention pointing to boredom and stress as crucial predictors of relapse. In standard behavioral literature, animals who have suffered sensory deprivation will perform for rewards consisting of nothing more than exposure to novelty (Daly, Mercer and Carpenter, 2002; NIDA, 2002).

Inconsistency of reward reflects the standard behavioral idea of schedules of reinforcement. Once behaviors have been established through simple reinforcement, their probable repetition can be enhanced by changing the frequency or schedule of reinforcement. That is, instead of rewarding every correct trial one might reward every third correct response or every response that happens 10 seconds after the first. This kind of reinforcement schedule is associated with persistent and sometimes compulsive behaviors (Skinner, 1953; 1957). In the world of addiction, the initial encounters with the drug providers do not always provide access to the high. The contexts of the problem behaviors do not always reliably predict access (the wrong company, the wrong place, nothing available). Drug cues in general set up an expectancy that is not always fulfilled. This very inconsistency increases the power of expectation.

The relative intensity of addictive behaviors, as compared to normal experiences, leads the substance abuser to anticipate and prefer them over more mundane rewards. One of the important things about this observation is that the comparisons made by the dopamine systems are short term. Behavioral preferences are established when there is a sharp difference in intensity between problem reinforcers and other recently experienced stimuli. Positive experiences from last month are not remembered in the context of a drug or behavior that that is overwhelmingly better than anything in the last hour (Schultz, Dayan and Montague, 1997; Waelti, Dickenson, and Schultz, 2001; Tobler, Fiorillo and Schultz, 2005).

Addictive behaviors tend to appear after intense exposure to the substance or behavior. Although there may be such things as one-shot learnings of addictive responses, the compulsive behaviors called addictions tend to be established over multiple experiences, especially when those experiences are repeated with great frequency over a short time (Robinson, 2004).

Another important insight from neuroscience should be familiar to practitioners of NLP. Preferences and values are experienced hierarchically. That means that we accord more or less value (incentive salience) to various actions and experiences. In NLP we describe these preference hierarchies in terms of value criteria. According to most researchers, the problem of addiction consists most centrally in the fact that the addictive behavior or substance is so far over-valued that it ‘outframes’ normal response systems (Berridge and Robinson, 2003; McClure, Daw and Montague, 2003; Goldstein and Volkow, 2002; O’Connor and Seymour, 1990; Dilts and DeLozier, 2000).

As noted previously, the midbrain dopamine system responds to the most impactful stimulus in recent neural history. Drugs, risky behavior, shoplifting, chocolate and sex often provide a significantly more powerful experience than many other behaviors that we encounter daily. As a result, they are promoted to the top of the preference hierarchy. This promotion happens in two ways:

With addictive substances, the primary means by which using behaviors are accorded increased incentive salience is through the direct or indirect chemical action on the midbrain dopamine system. Whether directly (like cocaine) or indirectly (like alcohol or heroin), substances of abuse create an inordinate output of dopamine that tells the brain, “This is really important!” and “We need to do this much more often!”

The second way that behaviors are promoted, is through behavioral adaptations. The same midbrain dopamine system is activated whenever a particular outcome or behavior can be used: 1. as an integral part of different behavioral sequences (“I always have a drink before I go out, just to loosen up.” “Whenever I have to face John’s mother, I have a drink.”). In the language of behavioral science we would say that the behavior is present in multiple schemas. 2. It is found to be useful or available in multiple contexts (Cigarettes and alcohol become powerfully addictive because they are so well integrated into the contexts of everyday life.). 3. A behavior becomes important when it seems to represent an easy answer, the path of least resistance. Drugs and behavioral problems work quickly and effectively to remove the stressors of the moment. They are easy, if impermanent, answers (Austin and Vancouver, 1996). In effect, the short term utility of the behavior and its generalization into multiple contexts tells the brain, “This is important!”

So far, we have identified two means by which behaviors and substances can be promoted to the top of the preference hierarchy so that they outframe other behaviors and preferences. How is this important for an NLP based understanding of addiction?

It is important precisely because what we observe in an addictive behavior is an expression of a fairly normal value hierarchy created under extraordinary circumstances. It tells us not that the brain is broken, but that it is doing what it always does: prioritize behaviors in terms of their immediate utility for the organism. If this is so, then the preference hierarchy is not only the locus of the addiction problem, it is also the key to eliminating the problem. This also helps us to understand why certain things like spiritual experience, falling in love, finding a personal direction and even just “getting out of Dodge” can work. They work because they represent criteria or experiences that are more highly valued than the experience of the addictive substance or behavior. They outframe the problem.

NLP Approaches to Addiction

In the early history of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder made several suggestions about the treatment of addiction. In Reframing (1972), they suggest that addictions could be treated by providing the client with a response option that was more powerful, more accessible and more immediate than the drug itself. This statement was one of the root inspirations for the Brooklyn Program. In several sources, Bandler suggests making the state of being high available as an anchor or intensifying the urge to use to the point where it becomes preferable to the use itself (Bandler, 1997, 1999).

Steve Andreas suggests using the compulsion blow-out to solve the immediate problem of craving. He also suggests using the guilt resolution process and other techniques used for clean up of motivations and secondary gain (Andreas and Andreas, 1979, 2002).
One of the early applications of NLP to the treatment of addictions was the six step reframe (Bandler and Grinder 1979, 1982). This technique was promulgated specifically for use in addictions by Shelly Sternman in her 1990 book, Neuro Linguistic Programming in Alcoholism Treatment.

The six step reframe, as one of the old standbys, continues to be used for the treatment of addictions and works by enlisting the aid of the unconscious mind, as personified in the ‘part’ responsible for the presenting problem, to generate more useful alternatives that will realize the original positive intent of the behavior. The process has been critiqued in terms of its tendency to artificially fragment the personality and its general allopathic orientation.

Another, more elegant approach to addictions was provided by Connirae and Tamara Andreas in their 1994 book, Core Transformations. This approach looked to uncover a series of outcome sequiturs from the problem behavior that would eventually lead to deep, core-level values and experiences. These core values could be understood as the ultimate positive intent of the behavior. Once conscious, the core value could become the active outcome towards which organismic energies would be directed.

From a Jungian and generative perspective, both of these approaches reach down to access an archetypal level of experience that can be used to redirect conscious and unconscious energies in a direction that is much more aligned with archetype of the deep Self—the center and goal towards which each life tends to grow (Gray, 1996, 1997). In the six step reframe, the approach is accomplished outside of consciousness with the expectation that all of the parts (presumably Jungian complexes — behavioral and perceptual habit centers) will be able to negotiate an effective, alternative answer to the problem behavior and then replace it. The approach of Core Transformation works from the problem behavior to reach one of several possible conscious experiences of wholeness, a core value that serves to provide a new direction for the behavior. In this approach, something much closer to a conscious experience of the Deep Self is awakened and acknowledged.

Both interventions, however, because of their starting point in pathology, are stuck with the relatively incomplete instantiation of unity and several layers of objections from parts that must be dealt with in order to finalize the process. In light of this, the Brooklyn Program, which drew inspiration from Core Transformations, asked: “How can we uncover the unitary Self, the deep personal direction that Core Transformation successfully uncovers and how can we make it the defining context of behavior without beginning with the problem state?”

Eventually, the Program was designed so as to structure a complex anchor that would awaken (or ‘constellate,’ in Jungian terms) a sense of the deep Self consistent with the ideas of personal growth set forth by C. G. Jung and Abraham Maslow. This resource would serve to provide a state that would not only serve to outframe the addictive process but would also center the individual in a life that he or she would find meaningful in a continuing manner over time (Gray, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005; Hillman, 1996; Jung, 1979, 1984; Maslow, 1970).

Such a state could be created by bringing together a series of positive life experiences. By anchoring the felt sense of those experiences, and stacking those anchors together into a single (anchored) resource, there would emerge a single, positive affect representing the deepest and most positive aspects of the individual. If the exemplars for the anchors were correctly chosen, they would provide a sense of growth into the center of personal potential that would serve to awaken a meaningful life direction. Because the Jungian dynamic of archetypes and complexes (the intellectual source of this structure) exists at the level of inchoate, felt experiences, an anchoring procedure was deemed to be the perfect means for creating the state and making it available (Jung, 1979, 1984; Gray, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005).

In 1997, while still working with a program of anchored resources in the context of a rather standard cognitive program, the author had the good fortune to attend a workshop on the midbrain dopamine system. The net effect of this presentation was to outline some of the early research already noted above. More importantly, the view from physiology made me realize that substance abuse treatment could be handled completely and effectively on the basis of feelings alone. One did not have to convince anyone of anything, all of the change could be produced by providing a series of positive, ecstatic experiences that were more accessible, more intuitive and more valuable to the client; neuroscience seemed to be confirming NLP. If the states also provided more flexibility and opened future options, their utility would be enhanced.

The program finally came to take on the following characteristics: After a brief introduction to the nature of addiction and the hierarchy of salience; drugs, addiction and problem behaviors were never formally mentioned again during the entire 16-week program. The early emphasis of the program turned from the central archetypal theme of awakening the deep Self, to teaching the participants how to create a series of powerful ecstatic states over which they exercised total control. A continuing part of the emphasis called for those states to be anchored in an easy and repeatable way so that each of them could be elicited at will, and its intensity manipulated. The outcome of increased flexibility was realized by suggesting that participants experiment with the anchors in multiple contexts. In this way they could experience for themselves the utility of the anchors and their independence from the facilitator and the treatment context (Gray, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005).

In general, the program sought to teach the art of ecstasy and its use for transcendence. It was continually presented as a refuge from the cares of the world; two hours a week where you could “always leave feeling better than you did when you came in”. It was a place where no one was preached at, demeaned or questioned; and it all happened at the Probation Department.

Once a root set of anchors were taught (The list was borrowed from Carmine Baffa’s (1997) web site), participants were encouraged to use them in their everyday lives to relax, feel better, and to gain control. Participants found that while using the anchors, negative behaviors like road rage and impatience tended to disappear. They often never consciously realized that their drug and alcohol-related urges had disappeared until well into the program. It was often not until the last sessions that participants realized not only that we had not discussed drugs, but that they had experienced few if any cravings.

After the root skill of anchoring ecstatic states was completed, participants were urged to create a deep sense of Self by stacking those anchors. This unitary state was further enhanced by creating and stacking several other sets of anchors which were specifically designed to awaken the felt reality of a deep sense of the Self.

In the context of creating states designed to establish, or re-establish a values hierarchy in order to ‘outframe’ addictive behaviors, there are two technical insights that proceed directly from experience in the Brooklyn Program and accord well with cognitive neuroscience. The first is this: If we structure a positive experience or experiences, so that it will compete successfully against a problem state, the competing experiences must be valued for their own sake, not in their instrumental relationship to the problem behaviors. The second is: The competing behavior must point to or promise a positively motivating future.

The first of these insights comes again from work related to the midbrain dopamine system and the frontal lobes. We have all been exposed to the functions (and supposed functions) of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. For our purposes, one of the more important aspects of hemispheric lateralization points to the idea that positive (or approach-valenced) experiences are processed in the left frontal lobes and negative (or withdrawal-valenced) experiences are processed in the right frontal lobes. This means that positive choices, the evaluation of what we want, the hierarchy of preferences, is processed in a totally different place than the measures of what we don’t want. It is a crucial piece of information (Davidson, 1993; Davidson and Harrington, 2002).

Similarly, LeDoux (2002) points out that the brain has many circuits, many run in parallel while others are mutually exclusive. Positive and negative affect are mutually exclusive (Ambivalence is alternation between the two and is handled by another part of the brain, the anterior cingulate gyrus.). In order for an anchor or other positive affect to have maximum utility, it must be developed and used as a positive good in itself, not as a tool for dealing with a problem. When we use it as a tool, create it as a tool, or otherwise associate it with a negative outcome, we lose some of its utility. For this reason, we emphasize that all of the exercises in the Brooklyn Program must first be pursued for their own sake and, insofar as possible, with no reference to stopping or controlling anything (Gray, 2005).

The second insight comes both from neuroscience and from the work of Prochaska, Di Clemente and Norcross (1994) in their Stages of Change Model. The Stages of Change Model is probably the most frequently used scientific model for personal change in the world today. James Prochaska, the lead author, made a crucial insight that moots much of the process that he discovered. He indicated that all of the change from what he calls precontemplation (classic denial in old-style parlance) to action (doing something about the problem) correlates–in every kind of change–to one thing: wanting something that is more important than the problem behavior. He further noted that disliking the problem behavior does not cause the change. The devaluation, or disliking, of the problem behavior arises as a response to wanting or liking something better or more important. Devaluing the problem behavior, if it occurs, is a result of effective change work, not its source.

Prochaska’s insight points us back to value hierarchies, and once again to the awakening of positive affect as a means of re-sorting that hierarchy. It integrates with the neurophysiology discussed above as follows:

1. Wanting something passionately has the capacity to reset the preference hierarchy.

2. Wanting something for its own sake, devalues the unwanted behavior as a consequence of that resorting.

3. Because the mechanisms of the frontal lobes for wanting and avoiding are separate, it is most important to build intense, positive states and motivators in order to propel the change.

4. Because the positive points to a positive future, it can and should be structured as a path of development; a set of developing outcomes. This will have the effect of frustrating the brain’s tendency to habituate and will keep the dopamine system registering that goal as more highly valued.

A crucial technical refinement in the program regards the process of anchoring. In order to create states that are useful across contexts, participants are taught to anchor states that are, as far as possible, devoid of content. Anchors that retain contextual information have limited utility. If, however, in the process of creating and anchoring the state, contextual information is reduced so that all of the attention is placed on a disconnected, ecstatic, floating trance, carrying at most the felt tone of the original experience, the anchor can be used anywhere and that same anchor can be used to create fully integrated complex states rather than crude aggregates of unrelated experiences (Gray, 2005).

One way to create this kind of abstraction is by finding the space in the perceptual grid where the resource state is represented and ‘whiting-out’ the visual and auditory information (Bandler, 1999). In the Brooklyn Program, I opted to rely on overloading the capacity of short term memory using the principle of Miller’s Magic Number (Miller, 1956). By increasing the amount of short-term attention invested in the felt sense of the experience (How does it feel? Where is the feeling? How does it move? What is the texture of the feeling? Does the feeling make a sound? What color is the feeling? What is its temperature? Where is the warmest part?), one can allow all of the contextual information in a remembered experience to fade away (Gray, 2005).

The other, and final refinement, is our focus on the crucial role of ecstasy. Positive feelings reawaken the left orbito-frontal cortex and with it, the capacity to choose. One of the most important skills taught in the Brooklyn program is the possibility and the skill of feeling wonderful. Most of the time spent in the program is spent accessing positive states; finding ways to explore them, and making sure that they become expanding paths of discovery, rather than destinations (Gray, 2005, 2005a).

In general, it has been my aim to give people back to themselves. The Brooklyn Program, above all else, seeks to restore levels of choice, self-esteem (rooted in a deep sense of who I am and must be becoming) and joy that can serve as the root of personal growth into the future (Gray, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2005a).

A free PDF copy of the facilitator’s manual is available from the author.

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Dr. Gray is also a regular presenter at national and international addictions conferences. Dr. Gray served for more than 20 years in the US Probation Department, Brooklyn, NY. He is now Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Fairleigh Dickinson University. He received his BA in Psychology from Central College, Pella, IA; MA in Sociology from Fordham University, Bronx, NY; and Ph.D. in Psychology from the Union Institute, Cincinnati, OH. Richard is a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Certified Ericksonian Hypnotist.
Richard can be contacted here: Richard Gray at

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