Book Reviews

Alcoholic to Alchemist

William Edward (on behalf of the National Council of Psychotherapists)
The ghost of my past materialised to haunt me and I was reminded of a past I would rather forget so initially I did not enjoy this book. After every few pages I was left stirring at the roof tops outside my window as I contemplated my life’s journey. In doing this I believe the author achieved his initial objective.
As I read further I became more positive as the book inspired me to affirm myself for a job well done, with a cautionary note that it is a continuous process. The book is an uplifting read that inspires a new way of thinking. For example, alcoholics are famous for saying, ‘I hope I never drink again’, as if the possibility was out of their hands. This book delivers a clear message that they have the power over that decision. However one note of caution, this book is not and does not pretend to be a cure for alcoholism, it is a useful acquisition to the tools of recovery.

The books greatest assets are its versatility and the way it delivers information in digestible amounts. The author has considered that the alcoholic is in no condition to absorb lengthy complex text. The case studies, inspirational quotes, relaxation and meditation techniques compliment the continuous positive reinforcement of shifting the way in which we think to change the way we live.

The title of the book frustrates me as it will undoubtedly attract the alcoholic and their nearest and dearest, this book has so much to offer a wider audience. It is hard not to be inspired by the author’s journey from a railway embankment to successful psychodynamic counsellor. This is not a book, it is a procedure manual to a better life which carries a message ‘if I can do it, so can you’. Perhaps the greatest accolade I can give this book is it will never sit on my bookshelf, it is already in the hands of an alcoholic who still suffers today.

Alcoholic to Alchemist (9 Jan 2012)

By I. Macdonald

A well written easy to follow program to enable people with drink related problems to not only live life again, but to enhance it. The author having been through it himself and come out on top, knows what is needed, knows what works,knows how to impliment it. I would recommend this book not only for the people with drink problems, but to their family and friends.

Alcoholic to Alchemist (7 Feb 2012)

By Celticcol

A fascinating and truly inspirational read, the content outlines those areas of our lives that we unconsciously neglect, reading this book made me stop and reflect on how I live life.
Paul’s journey is jaw dropping and heart warming his transformation from enslavement to enlightenment shows we all have the ability to succeed and achieve our goals in life. Written by someone who has been there and experienced the lowest of the lowest depths and came through were others may have lost all hope, this book truly leads you to the light in a way that is absorbed into your very being, it’s simple uncomplicated wording helps the reader understand and unknowingly become conversant with aspects of psychology giving you the empowerment to manage your life effectively.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this book is not just based around alcohol abuse but in fact a book for life itself, I would go as far as saying it is a companion for life, and I would fully recommend it.

Alcoholic to Alchemist (29 Jan 2012)

By Mr. N. S. Buchanan

A unique book and a refreshing approach to a problem which blights the lives of so many. Paul gets to the very heart of alcoholism, inviting the reader to reflect on which part of life’s curriculum they are trying to escape from – and why? Understanding this is the key – in taking that journey, the reader no longer needs to ‘escape’ to the bottle, no longer needs to ‘get out of their heads’ with alcohol.

So many appraoches focus on the symptoms instead of the causes – to me this is like cutting the wire for the ‘oil is low’ warning light on a car instead of adding the oil! Alcohol is not the problem – it is merely a symptom of an underlying cause. Paul gives us the tools in this encouraging book to deal with the cause in a healthy way – without beating ourselves up. In fact we can feel good about ourselves!

The title is well chosen because the book takes us from our limitations and the baser materials we may have wrestled with and shows us how we can transform them into gold. Reading this book, it is easy to see that our opportunities often come disguised as adversities.

The book far exceeds its remit and draws on cutting edge science, spirituality, philosophy, etc. However there is nothing woolly or new agey about it – it is immensely pragmatic, focussing as it does on what works in practice.

Most of all it is a book from the heart – from a genuine survivor of chronic alcoholism. However, Paul has done much more than survive – he has flourished – and is perhaps the best advert for the methods he advocates in this fine book – which is also a handbook for living!

At 428 pages and full of hard won wisdom and insight, this is a book I find myself re-reading and dipping into often.

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