Alan Marlatt, pioneering Canadian Buddhist psychologist – in memoriam

Buddhism around the World Buddhism in Canada Buddhist community Buddhist Psychology Health

Dr. Alan Marlatt was born in 1942 in Vancouver, B.C. He received his bachelor’s of psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1964 and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana University in 1968. He joined the faculty of the University of Washington in 1972.

Dr. Marlatt, a long-time Buddhist practitioner, was one of the pioneers in addiction research and treatment. His notion of compassionate pragmatism gave birth to the philosophy of harm-reduction in addiction treatment, in a climate where moralistic idealism provided few avenues for recovery except “just say no.” He was the author of more than 20 books, including several with a specifically Buddhist mindfulness approach to addiction recovery.

He passed away recently, at age 69. A more detailed memorial article about him was recently published in the Seattle Times.

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