Dr. Jonathan Kriener life coach, 12 steps facilitator for people with substance abuse, eating disorders and their families
Dr. Jonathan Krienerlife coach, 12 steps facilitator for people with substance abuse, eating disorders and their families

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Through cases of addiction in my family, I have been in contact with recovering addicts and their relatives since 1995. Since 2010, I have voluntarily been supporting people with problems of substance abuse, eating disorder, and their relatives in their recovery. Since 2017, I am pursuing research about these disorders and offer my service to those seeking help in Beirut. I have come to view addiction, including the eating disorders anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating, as family or systemic disorders: On the long run, they affect all family members/both partners in a close relationship, also the ones who do not themselves show any substance abuse or eating disorder. For the latter, the problem can become as devastating and life-threating as for their addicted relatives/partners, and over the frustrating routine of such a relationship it becomes increasingly difficult to tell behaviour from response, and choice from compulsion. In such desperate situations, many people have found relief in a so called

12 Step program, as I have witnesses many times, and as is documented by these organizations themselves ( see AA, Al-Anon, NA and OA), as well as through academic research (e. g. Krentzman, Amy R. et al. 2010. How Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Work: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. In Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 29 (1), pp. 75–84; and Donovan, Dennis M.; Wells, Elizabeth A. 2007. ‘Tweaking 12-Step’: the potential role of 12-Step self-help group involvement in methamphetamine recovery. In Addiction 102 (suppl. 1) pp. 121-127).

An orientalist and political scientist by education, I have been teaching and researching in the academic humanities for over sixteen years, from 2001 to 2018, at renowned institutions such as the Orient-Institut Beirut, the Georg Eckert Institute, the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in Essen/Germany, and at the universities of Bochum - where I earned my masters and doctoral degrees - Halle, Marburg, and Tübingen. Between 1992 and 2002, I have been working as an assistant nurse on a psychiatric ward of the LVR Klinik Bonn, and as a language teacher in different private and public institutions.

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