I recently became aware that Terrence Gorski of CENAPS USA had passed away earlier this month (2nd of July I am told). For those who have worked in the field of addiction therapy his name is as instantly recognizable as the likes of Beck and Ellis. There are probably no addiction therapists who don’t recognise his name or have read at least some of his works – having written and co-authored an impressive 45 Books in his life-time on the subject.
For myself as a young man in this field Gorski brought about a great deal of pragmatism, practical and sensible approach to managing denial and making life-long changes to human behaviour.
For those not in the know, Terrence Gorski is an therapist and internationally recognized expert on substance use disorder, mental health, violence and crime. He also coined the term of recognition of post-acute withdrawal symptoms (often referred to as PAWs). He also found the “Center for Applied Sciences on Addiction”, abbreviated to CENAPS. He also spoke at a conference on addiction in Thailand in 2012.
His 1995 book Relapse Prevention Counselling was my first introduction into the world of addiction counselling (I read the book in 2006). It made a lot of sense, despite his own personal leanings towards non-secular recovery he was a very rational man who certainly had a great vibe for recovery literature.
The frame-work described in that 1995 book became the framework from which I have styled a lot of my own counselling techniques from.
In 2016 I had the honor of working with Roland Williams who was Terrence Gorski’s partner at CENAPS (during this time), where I was trained in Relapse Prevention under the CENAPS model.
I am on the right at the back, Roland Williams is in the middle at the back, we are both roughly the same height.
Terrence Gorski and myself only spoke once online, in fact I upset him a little bit when I asked him the question does PAWS actually exist in measurable terms or is it a return to the symptoms that drove a person into their addiction firstly? He didn’t agree with this, I was just curious hence why I asked but he wasn’t too impressed with me asking. For Gorski PAWS was undoubtedly a huge part of the disease of addiction, despite this never being closely measured in laboratory conditions. However, despite my slight cynicism towards a lack of evidence it is a widely accepted that PAWS is a very real part of the disorder of addiction.