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Course: Addiction and Grace
by Gerald G. May, M.D.

CE Credit Hours: 8
Fee: $55

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Our Client's Thoughts About This Course

The book surprised me. I was expecting a book that just emphasized drug and alcohol addiction. I now see that there are numerous ways to be addicted, this course work can apply to many of my clients. - Jane, LPC, Ohio


The course/text looks at the processes of attachment that frequently result in addiction and examines the relationship between addiction and spiritual awareness. It considers addiction as a broader issue that involves a range of behaviors far beyond alcohol and drugs to include work, sex, performance, responsibility, and intimacy. Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist working with the chemically dependent, May emphasizes that addiction represents an attempt to assert complete control over ones life.

He asserts that addiction is a separate and even more self-defeating force than repression. 'Addictions abuses freedom and makes people do things they really do not want to do. While repression stifles desire, addiction attaches desire, bonds and enslaves the energy of desire to certain specific behaviors, things, or people. These objects of attachment then become preoccupations and obsessions; they come to rule our lives. Attachment 'nails' our desire to specific objects and creates addiction.' According to the author this explains why traditional psychotherapy, which is based on the release of repression, has proven ineffective with addictions.' The clinician will find in this course/text a compassionate and wise treatment of a topic of major concern to all in the people helping professions. The course offers a critical yet hopeful look at the issue and guides the reader to view a freedom based on contemplative spirituality.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to:

  • Identify the five essential characteristics that mark true addition
  • Identify attraction and aversion addictions
  • Understand the neurological nature of addiction
  • Understand the theological nature of addiction from a Judaic/Christian perspective
  • Understand the relationship between grace and the will in overcoming addiction

Syllabus / Course Instructions

  • The Course consists of reading the selected book, successfully completing an online posttest and filling out a course evaluation.
  • The book is not included. It must be purchased separately. We have supplied a link to for your convenience.
  • Purchasing your course will give you access to both a printable copy of the test and an online version. Print the test to use as a companion as you read the book and answer the questions.
  • You cannot exit the online test once you begin, so have your answers available.
Additional Resources On This Site for CE

Additional Resources Not On This Site

  • NAADAC: The Association for Addiction Professionals;, Suite 201 1001 N. Fairfax St. Alexandria, VA 22314; p 800.548.0497; f 800.377.1136
  • Drug Abuse Treatment Through Collaboration: Practice and Research Partnerships That Work, Edited by James L. Sorenson, Richard A. Rawson, Joseph Guydish, and Joan E. Zweben 2003. 325 pgs. APA, Washington DC
  • Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • APA Division 50 - Addictions
  • Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions
  • Hanley Center
    5200 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407-2374
    Phone: 561-841-1000
    Toll Free 1-800-444-7008
  • Information, Resources and Tools for patients and their families for treatment and lifelong Recovery

Bio: Gerald G. May, M.D.

Gerald G. May, M.D. (1940-2005) practiced medicine and psychiatry for twenty-five years before becoming a senior fellow in contemplative theology and psychology at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Bethesda, Maryland. He was the author of many books and articles blending spirituality and psychology, including Addiction & Grace, Care of Mind/Care of Spirit, Will and Spirit, and The Dark Night of the Soul.