A New Clinical Perspective on Addiction

Treating Addiction: A Modern Psychological Approach -- 18 CEU | taught by Lance Dodes, M.D.

This is an interactive, multimedia course that dispels the myths of addiction and presents a fascinating modern perspective.

Addiction has long been deeply misunderstood in both our culture and clinical practice. Rather than being a reflection of impulsivity or self-destructiveness, or a result of genetic or physical factors, addiction can be shown to be a psychological mechanism that is a subset of psychological compulsions in general. This course will describe and illustrate a comprehensive new way to understand and treat addictions.


This course is designed to be taken at your own pace.  Its curriculum is divided into 8 weeks to allow time for reading the weekly material between  the online video lectures.   However, you can go through the course faster or slower.
Each week includes:
-- Selected readings from Dr. Dodes’s two popular books, "The Heart of Addiction" and "Breaking Addiction".
-- An hour-long video presentation by Dr. Dodes on the week’s topics. (The videos will be available to be watched at any time.  Once you are enrolled, you will receive an email requesting the email address you wish to use to be given access to the lectures.)
-- An online quiz on that week's topics, with real clinical examples
-- Questions about the material may be submitted to Dr. Dodes by email at any time.

Topics include:
  • What is addiction? A modern view
  • Behaviors that look like addiction, but aren't
  • Approaches to the patient with addiction
  • Treatment strategies
  • 12-Step programs and rehabilitation
  • Myths of addiction
  • Treatment of couples and adolescents
  • Gambling and sexual addictions


Q: How can I obtain the course books?
A: "The Heart of Addiction" and "Breaking Addiction" are both available in paperback and Kindle editions from Amazon. Their combined cost is about $25.  Here are the links:

The Heart of Addiction

Breaking Addiction

Q: How do I obtain Continuing Education credits?

A: This course qualifies for 18 Continuing Education Credits for for psychologists, social workers, nurses, and mental health counselors. To claim credits, you must pass a multiple choice examination at completion of the course. Credits are awarded through R. Cassidy Seminars for a fee of $45 for the 18 CEU credits, paid directly to them.   

Lance Dodes, M.D.
Lance Dodes, M.D.

Lance Dodes, M.D. is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (retired), Training and Supervising Analyst Emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and Faculty member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis (Los Angeles). He has been the Director of the substance abuse treatment unit of Harvard’s McLean Hospital, Director of the Boston Center for Problem Gambling, and Chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association's discussion group, "Treating the Patient with Addiction in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy." He is the author or coauthor of many journal articles and book chapters about addiction and the author of three books: The Heart of Addiction (HarperCollins, 2002), Breaking Addiction: A 7-Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction (HarperCollins, 2011), and The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry (Beacon Press, 2014; senior author). Dr. Dodes has been honored by the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School for "Distinguished Contribution" to the study and treatment of addictive behavior, and has been elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

Course Curriculum

WEEK 1. What is Addiction? Addiction through the ages, theories of addiction, and a New Theory
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WEEK 2. Physical addiction, genetics and neurobiology
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WEEK 4. Treatment hints: Short and Long-term strategies
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WEEK 6. When abuse is not addiction, and Myths of addictions
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