"...sometimes we need to go through the darkness to get to the light and that it may be emotionally painful..."

Growing up in a large family (11 children), having a sibling with Down syndrome, and having lived with a total of 173 group home children (mostly inner-city boys aged 8 to 17) over a span of 13 years, Michael Oden has learned what it means to have compassion for others. Little did he know that his ground-level experience would equip him years later to be a Proposition 36 Deputy Probation Officer for nearly 7 years. Having conducted "over 8,000 plus interviews with alcohol and drug offenders, regarding their drug/alcohol dependency," Oden developed an effective program to help his clients break the cycle of dependency. "With that in mind, this book reviews and explains the Needs Based Method of [overcoming] alcohol and drug abuse," and how Oden deals with the why dependency happens—"the emotional, physical, or social absence of or 'neglect' by a caretaker, or when nobody's home."

Going "to one place most Deputy Probation Officers don't think to investigate—the place in a client's history when the behavior began," Oden chooses to meet his clients where they are. Oden spends the bulk of his book describing various traumatic aspects that unconsciously yet directly lead people to enter into vicious codependent alcoholic and/or drug cycles before explaining what his Need Based Method is all about and how it works. Punctuating his narrative with client cases, Oden takes readers through the necessary and often painstaking step-by-step process of reaching out with compassion using the Need Based Method. This process not only develops an understanding of how past experiences have influenced behavior, but also hopefully leads to the 12-step Hero's Journey—the Final Step—to break vicious cycles and shift into constructive behaviors and belief systems. Although designed to help professionals in the broad area of social services, many can benefit from Oden's eye-opening and highly successful method.

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