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The Online Magazine Celebrating Sobriety

Amazing New Review from KIRKUS REVIEWS!!!

by | Sep 1, 2021 | Book Reviews

I was absolutely thrilled to read an amazing review today from Kirkus Reviews, respected throughout the industry and by media and libraries, for my new book, “Holmes’s Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol; The Easy, Mindful and Pain-free Way”. Here it is in full:

A self-help guide advocates overcoming alcohol addiction through mindfulness, inspired by cognitive behavioral therapy.

In this robust manual, Holmes, an online counselor and founder of the Addiction Help Agency, offers an easy and painless way to quit drinking alcohol permanently. The core of this process is a style of cognitive behavioral therapy with a focus on the incremental reduction of drinking and an increase in mindfulness—through meditation, self-assessment, and self-monitoring—to identify harmful patterns. To aid in this, the book provides numerous tools, from graphs and tables for recording habits to diagnostic tests like the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test, the DSM-5, and others. The guide also discusses self-report surveys like the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale and the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale. Alongside readers in this undertaking is Moz, a high-functioning drinker and a stand-in for the author, who struggled with alcohol. Moz presents examples of the book’s process and how it succeeded for Holmes. Moz’s experiences also act as a gateway to the deeper research the manual supplies on subjects like the role alcohol plays in popular culture, its chemical composition, and its effects on sex and oft-encountered challenges like loneliness and midlife crises. The book promises “a radical alternative to the public perception…of drinking” as well as “a revolution in alcohol awareness.” In the latter case especially, the guide succeeds. The number of resources and the extensive, well-cited research may feel overwhelming, but the author’s presentation and simple breakdowns will answer most of the questions that patient readers have. The work’s use of Sherlock Holmes quotes throughout that treat alcohol addiction as a kind of mystery to be solved is clever, and the technique never distracts or overstays its welcome. The book is primarily a self-help resource, so those without at least some awareness of their problem or possible difficulty are likely not its audience. The text’s enthusiasm for its own methods can feel like a sales pitch at times but is nonetheless encouraging and infectious.

A comprehensive, passionate, and helpful resource for those looking for an alternative to alcohol.

Firstly, I am humbled that the reviewer agrees the book “succeeds” as a “revolution in alcohol awareness” with “the number of resources,” and the “extensive well-cited research.” Secondly, I worked so hard to ensure that the research selected was relevant and useful and for this to be acknowledged makes me feel all the hard work was worthwhile.

I am also so pleased the reviewer appreciated the Sherlock Holmesian leitmotif throughout that treated, “alcohol addiction as a kind of mystery to be solved.” No reviewer has mentioned this until now, and yet I thought it was clear from the title of the book, “Holmes’s”, the chapter quotes from Sherlock Holmes, and “Moz”, being short, of course, for Moriarty, Holmes’s nemesis. Moz alluding to the side of Holmes he doesn’t want himself to be, a drunk, like Dr Jekyl to Mr Hyde.

I extend my full thanks to Kirkus Reviews for a perceptive, insightful and extraordinary review which does justice to the book on every level. I couldn’t have asked for a more resounding endorsement.

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About Us

Mark Holmes MA is CEO and Founder of the Addiction Help Agency Ltd., to help others achieve permanent sobriety painlessly without using willpower and without cravings.

Holmes is a former International School Principal and high functioning alcoholic for over thirty years who spent years researching how to stop drinking which led to training as an Alcohol Addiction CBT Therapist and culminated in writing his unique mindfulness method of alcohol cessation in "Holmes's Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol; The Easy, Mindful and Pain-free Way".

Holmes has a Master's degree from UCL, and is a registered CBT Therapist at NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals, and abides by their professional standards and ethics.

Holmes offers one-to-one online counselling HERE internationally and face-to-face one-day group seminars HERE in London, UK.

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