We Have Lost a Valued Friend and Pioneer

It is with great sadness that we report that Dr. G. Alan Marlatt passed away this morning at 9:40 am. Alan was a kind and generous man with whom we had the pleasure of working the past couple years in conjunction with the training he and his team offered in Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) through UCSD. We are all quite saddened and shocked at the news of the death of this well-respected and widely honored psychologist, colleague and friend.

For those who may be unfamiliar with his work, here are some highlights copied from the biography of him on Wikipedia:

G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., was Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington and Director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at that institution. He received hisPh.D. in clinical psychology from Indiana University in 1968. After serving on the faculties of the University of British Columbia (1968-1969) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison (1969-1972), he joined the University of Washington faculty in the fall of 1972. He has conducted pioneering research in three areas: harm reductionbrief interventions, and relapse prevention.

In 1996, Dr. Marlatt was appointed as a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). He served as the President of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors from 1983-1984; President of the Section for the Development of Clinical Psychology as an Experimental-Behavioral Science of the Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of the American Psychological Association), 1985-1986; and President of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, 1991-1992.

Marlatt’s books include Alcoholism: New Directions in Behavioral Research and Treatment (1978), Relapse Prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors (1985, 2005), Assessment of Addictive Behaviors (1985; 2005), Addictive Behaviors Across the Lifespan (1993), Harm Reduction: Pragmatic Strategies for Managing High-Risk Behaviors (1998), Changing Addictive Behavior (1999), and Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) Manual (1999), The Tao of Sobriety: Helping You to Recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction (2002), and Therapist’s Guide to Evidence-Based Relapse Prevention (2007). In addition, he published over 200 book chapters and journal articles and served on the editorial boards of numerous professional journals, including the Journal of Consulting and Clinical PsychologyJournal of Abnormal PsychologyAddictive Behaviors, and Journal of Studies on Alcohol.

Marlatt received continuous funding for his research from a variety of agencies including the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 1990, Marlatt was awarded The Jellinek Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to knowledge in the field of alcohol studies from the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. In 2001, he was given the Innovators in Combating Substance Abuse Award by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and in 2004 he received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism. He received the Distinguished Psychologist award for Professional Contribution to Knowledge from the Washington State Psychological Association in 1990 and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology in 2000.

We will miss you Alan, but your work will live on through your writings, your teaching and your mentorship of many bright and talented students and former students.

NOTE: We invite you to pay tribute to Dr. Marlatt by adding any comments or observations you have about him, his work and his legacy in our field.

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7 responses to “We Have Lost a Valued Friend and Pioneer

  1. I’m sad to hear this news. I ran a conference in 1986 entitled “Stress and Addiction.” It yielded an edited book by the same name a year later. Alan was one of the participants. His presentation and subsequent book chapter about relapse prevention were very well done. He was very gracious in offering me help designing the first relapse prevention program in the Veteran’s Administration. That program literally helped many hundreds. He added enormously to the field and his insights will be missed.

  2. Pingback: Dr. Alan Marlatt passes away « Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic

  3. Lisa Dale Miller, MFT

    Alan Marlatt, PhD will be missed among the addiction research and treatment community worldwide. Know as the father of relapse prevention therapy, Alan did more than anyone in the field to advance the use of CBT for addiction, harm reduction, and in the later part of his career, mindfulness meditation to treat substance use disorders.

    He was a gracious and wonderful teacher to many of us in the field. Alan had a wonderful way of nurturing talent. It was under his guidance that Drs. Sarah Bowen and Neharika Chawla birthed the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention program.

    Alan showed me great kindness as he mentored me to become a teacher of MBRP. We also shared our love of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation practice. I will never forget him and all he gave to me personally and professionally.
    Lisa Dale Miller, MFT
    http://www.lisadalemiller.com/mbpsych.htm

  4. Pingback: Remembering Alan Marlatt | think of now

  5. I am profoundly saddened and shocked to hear this news tonight, Alan will be greatly missed.
    It is a great loss both personally and professionally. I am so grateful for Alan’s kindness and support of my work; he invited me to teach in his classes at the University of Washington, encouraged me to make my meditation CD and then enthusiastically endorsed it. I will really miss sharing with him my progress on my book and our great conversations over lunch!
    Here in Seattle it is a particularly poignant loss since he hoped to see a Centre of Mindfulness created here. My deep condolences to his family, friends and colleagues everywhere.
    Erica Rayner-Horn MA, Seattle,WA

  6. I’m stunned to happen upon this news of Alan. I remain grateful and warm in my memory of him, his work and his kind and dedicated attention to healing.

    Mia Angela Barbera, MS, ACC, BSW, Seattle

  7. Gina P Facchinello, B. S. Addiction Studies, Viterbo University, Wisconsin

    I am very greatful to have learned about how to approach healing in the realm of addictive behaviors in a science based , creative ,open and hopeful mindset. We have been blessed by the light of Dr. G. Alan Marlatt lifes work, and his dedication to mentoring others.

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