Treating Impulsive, Addictive, and Self-Destructive Behaviors

Mindfulness and Modification Therapy

Peggilee Wupperman
Foreword by Robert L. Leahy

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
April 2, 2019
ISBN 9781462538843
Price: $85.00 $72.25
344 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
April 2, 2019
ISBN 9781462538836
Price: $35.00 $29.75
344 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
March 6, 2019
Price: $35.00 $29.75
344 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $70.00 $38.50
344 Pages

This accessible book presents time- and cost-effective strategies for helping clients break free of dysregulated behaviors—such as substance abuse, binge eating, compulsive spending, and aggression—and build more fulfilling, meaningful lives. Mindfulness and modification therapy (MMT) integrates mindfulness practices with elements of motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and other evidence-based approaches. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment or a precursor to more intensive therapy. In a convenient large-size format, the book includes session-by-session implementation guidelines, case examples, practical tips, guided mindfulness practices, and 81 reproducible client handouts and therapist sheets. Purchasers get access to a companion website where they can download audio recordings of the guided practices, narrated by the author, plus all of the reproducible materials.

“Wupperman tackles the thorny problem of dysregulated behavior with an elegant intervention empowered by the science of mindfulness and behavior change. Seamlessly interweaving elements of dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, the book provides the tools and perspectives that clinicians need to help people who suffer with chronic, unworkable patterns of action. This is a focused approach, and it is on target.”

—Dennis Tirch, PhD, Founding Director, The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, New York City

“This masterful book presents an empathic, individualized approach to treating a range of behaviors that might interfere with living a valued life, including, but not limited to, harmful alcohol and drug use, eating behaviors, and gambling. Wupperman's caring and compassion are clearly evident. The treatment artfully brings together concepts and techniques from motivational interviewing, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and all of the 'third-wave' therapies. What I love most about the treatment is the focus on the client’s perspective and individual values, as well as the depathologizing of behaviors that are getting in the way for a client. I can picture many clients who would benefit from Wupperman’s pragmatic and compassionate approach. ”

—Katie Witkiewitz, PhD, Regents’ Professor of Psychology, University of New Mexico

“This book provides a structured yet very flexible transdiagnostic approach to the treatment of people with dysregulated behavior. It will serve as a practical guide for beginning therapists or those experienced in any therapeutic modality who want to deepen their skills for working with this population. I highly recommend this book and the MMT approach to clinicians in a variety of settings, from inpatient psychiatric units to drug and alcohol centers to eating disorder clinics.”

—Guy Undrill, PhD, MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucester, United Kingdom; member, Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT)

“Even the most seasoned practitioners feel overwhelmed by clients presenting with severely dysregulated behavior coupled with impaired relationships. Wupperman masterfully presents an integrative approach for achieving positive outcomes. She fully anticipates the therapeutic challenges and offers expert, step-by-step guidance for effectively treating dysregulated clients with affirming, nonjudgmental interventions.”

—Richard Rogers, PhD, ABPP, Regents Professor of Psychology, University of North Texas

“Wupperman addresses a major gap in the field, offering a much-needed resource for clinicians and researchers. By targeting the shared factors that underlie the development and maintenance of diverse forms of behavioral dysregulation, MMT has utility for clients with a broad range of presenting problems. MMT is unique in its explicit focus on validation and the therapeutic relationship—recognized components of treatment effectiveness that, unfortunately, often are not clearly emphasized in existing cognitive-behavioral treatment protocols. By assisting clients in identifying and pursuing life values, MMT not only aids clients in reducing behavioral dysregulation, but also helps them build the life they want to live.”

—Matthew T. Tull, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Toledo

Table of Contents

I. A Transdiagnostic Treatment for Dysregulated Behavior

1. Challenges of Treating Dysregulated Behavior sample

2. Conceptualization and Professional Stance

II. Five Basic MMT Strategies

3. Strategy 1: Strong Focus on the Therapeutic Relationship

4. Strategies 2 and 3: Client Values and Understanding

5. Strategies 4 and 5: Home Practice and Shaping

III. MMT Session Guidelines

6. Common Questions, Obstacles, and General Issues

7. MMT Setup, Intake Guidelines, and Structure of Sessions

8. Early Sessions

9. Mindful Emotion Regulation Module

10. Mindful Communication/Relationships Module

11. Acceptance/Empathy Module

12. Integrating and Generalizing: Planning for the Future

13. Conclusion: Training Opportunities and Online Resources



List of Audio Files

Audio Downloads:

1. Color Body Scan (12:41)

2. Body Movement (14:10)

3. Mirror (13:54)

4. Mighty Tree (8:52)

5. May You Be (10:43)

6. Thoughts (8:01)

7. Sounds (6:26)

About the Author

Peggilee Wupperman, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of the City University of New York. She is also Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Wupperman is invested in improving the understanding and treatment of individuals with dysregulated emotions and behaviors. With this aim, she has conducted basic and applied research related to mindfulness and modification therapy since receiving her doctorate in 2006. Her publications have focused on behavior dysregulation, mindfulness, emotion regulation, emotion processing, and personality disorders. Dr. Wupperman regularly teaches classes and workshops for mental health professionals and trainees. She sees clients through the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy and through various clinical trials.


Clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health and substance abuse counselors, and psychiatric nurses.