searching Health Collection Change databases

Image of Publication

  • Peer Reviewed
  • Citation only


about this publication

Addiction: A Disorder of Choice an Interview with Gene Heyman

Psychotherapy in Australia
Volume 17 Issue 4 (Aug 2011)

Abstract: In 2010, Gene Heyman published what, at first glance, might appear to be a controversial book. In 'Addiction: A Disorder of Choice', Heyman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital and a Lecturer in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, summarizes key features of the natural history of addiction, and introduces a simple, conceptual framework that makes sense of self-destructive choices, such as those made by addicts. Drawing from historical, epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies, he concludes that addiction is not a disease, but a disorder of choice. In this interview, Heyman explains how he found that the research - contrary to the received wisdom that addicts were involuntary, compulsive drug users - pointed to a different, more complex, and interesting conclusion. Scientific accounts of how addicts behave revealed that the factors that influence most decisions, such as economics, familial responsibilities, and values, also persuaded addicts to quit using drugs. Heyman argues that treatment approaches based on the idea that addicts are making choices are gaining ground, and will eventually lead to a change in the understanding of the nature of addiction.

To cite this article: Sheean, Liz. Addiction: A Disorder of Choice an Interview with Gene Heyman [online]. Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 17, No. 4, Aug 2011: 26-31. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=311128649493310;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 1323-0921. [cited 27 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Sheean, Liz; Source: Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 17, No. 4, Aug 2011: 26-31 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1323-0921 Subject: Interviews; Compulsive behavior; Drug addiction--Treatment; Psychologists; Drug addiction--Psychological aspects; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Lecturer in Psychology, Boston College and Harvard Medical School

Database: Health Collection