Sunday, November 24, 2013


Hey friends. I am migrating over to a one stop shop sort of place for all my goings on and writings. So please come check things out at

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Book Review of FORTIFY: A Step Toward Recovery

Title: FORTIFY:A Step Toward Recovery
Author: Fight The New Drug
Release Date: 2013
Publisher: Owl Publishing
Genre: Addiction Recovery

For those of you who know about ANASAZI it shouldn't surprise you at all the my favorite line in this book actually happens on page 5. "Our aim is to help you reclaim and become again who you are and always have been, even if you forgot that for awhile." At ANASAZI we believe every child has a seed of greatness within them. They just need to remember. Both philosophies mean that the strength to overcome negative behaviors lies within. 

I really like how easy it was to read through this book. It is set up very logical but there's enough pictures, flipping to the back of the book, stories, and so forth to keep a teenager entertained and turning the pages. The other thing I REALLY like is that it is not dumbed/watered down.

If there is one thing I've learned as an adolescent therapist is that teenagers do NOT want to be treated as children. If you set high expectations with love and respect, they will strive to reach them. At their core they want to be seen as good. This is why I love how FTND sets the bar high from the very beginning. There is an understanding and strength that flows through the pages that I am going to find hope and become a fighter even before I finish the last page.

I am a big fan of anecdotal stories to help drive a principle so I enjoyed the parts about Twinkies, salt water vs. pump water, Medusa, a sledgehammer, anchors, and many more.

As a visual learner I really appreciated the diagrams, pictures,  the pop-out "quick questions" that made me think,  the "Action Items," and of course "The Battle Strategies". All of the questions and flipping to the back of the book serve such an amazing purpose besides entertainment. After one finishes the book they haven't just read a good book—they've made a PLAN. I LOVE THAT!

Working with many teenagers who struggle with pornography has led me to do my own research. I've read a lot of scholarly articles and listened to professionals speak on the topic. At times it can get complicated and depressing. FORTIFY is simple and easy to understand. All along the way there are power statements like this, "Remember, getting out of your addiction isn't simply a matter of trying harder. Instead, it's a matter of fighting smart." (p. 63) And then they teach you how.

No matter what the addiction, be it video games, substance abuse, pornography, etc, when I'm working with a teenager I ALWAYS emphasize accountability and its importance. So this line stuck out to me, "...when it comes to recovery, one of the most important things good relationships afford us is someone to whom we can be held accountable." (p. 83) And then the importance of accountability was talked about at least 2 more times—awesome!

While there is much more I could say about FORTIFY I hope you will go READ THIS BOOK and learn more about the power it has to change, heal, and offer hope to those in the shadows.

Kylee Shields, MSW