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Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety

Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety is both an inspiring and a very practical book for those who are in recovery as well as anyone who wants to grow and become more successful.  Brian McAlister, the author of Full Recovery, talks about fear, addiction and misguided thoughts that we all have and states that his suggestions in the book are “designed to take you beyond abstinence and give you the personal insight needed to realign those misguided perceptions that have been holding you back.”  This book is not meant to be a quick read, but rather an effective tool to help one learn more about themselves and find the motivation to reach for a more abundant life.  In one word this book is motivational.

Recovery books typically are helpful with just that — recovery.  That is a great topic and so helpful to many, but Full Recovery moves you far beyond getting sober. If the reader will work the exercises at the end of each chapter and come to this book with an open attitude there is much to be gained from practical business guidelines to how to live with more grace and gratitude.  This book truly reaches beyond most in recovery literature by pushing the reader to dig deep and come out better for it.

McAlister never implies that this will be an easy journey.  “Success, much like recovery, is a process,” he states.  McAlister’s own wisdom has not come without pain and years of persistence to push beyond his own sobriety.  He made decisions to get sober, to become successful and he did both.  McAlister’s ideas are gleaned from years of hard work, deep personal reflection, his own mentors and God’s grace in his life. The story is told of a near-fatal accident which acts as part of the motivation behind McAlister’s eventual recovery.  It is a powerful personal story of his fight against addiction.  However, the book does not primarily focus on getting sober.  As an individual works through the questions in the book, which are not the same as questions in a 12-step program, that person will more deeply understand their own motivations behind their actions and learn ways to end with the results the individual might be seeking.  This can be anything that’s truly important to that individual such as becoming a successful businessperson with their own business or becoming a missionary. It is up to what the individual decides they must try to fulfill in their life and walks that individual through steps of getting there.

I found this book to be a great tool for personal growth.  Much of the book touches on the author’s personal faith in a Creator, which I find comforting and is common in the recovery movement.  Also, many famous people are mentioned or quoted from Albert Einstein to Vincent Van Gogh to the founding fathers of the United States.  McAlister looks far and wide and grabs hold of wisdom wherever he finds it.  Therefore, the book contains something for almost everyone. 

Full Recovery has a good deal of practical business ideas that can also be used for other areas of one’s life.  Overall, if the reader is willing to put in the work which is required from each segment of the book, this should become an uplifting and motivating tool through recovery and into the reader’s dreams.

In the end, the author shares again from personal struggles and his humility and honesty help the reader believe that despite whatever their own personal struggles may be with addiction or other roadblocks in life, they too can reach the place of their dreams.

Full Recovery: Creating an Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety

By Brian McAlister

Macsimum Publishing, 2nd edition: September 2010

Hardcover, 240 pages


Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety

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Worth Your Time! +++

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Gail Booth

APA Reference
Booth, G. (2016). Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 May 2016
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 May 2016
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