Author Archives

Barbara L. Wood, Ph.D. APA-CPP Alcoholism and Other Substance Use Disorders

Barbara L. Wood, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and author practicing in Bethesda, Maryland. She specializes in the treatment of addiction and trauma. She is the author of two books about the impact of familial alcoholism. Her first book, Children of Alcoholism:The Struggle for Self and Intimacy in Adult Life, was published in 1987 by New York University Press and is listed in the current New York Review of Books as one of the best books in print. Her second book, Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home was published by Crossroads/Continuum in 1992 and recently updated and re-released. It is currently available in paperback and electronic form on

How the Brain Responds to Traumatic Threat

Nearly everyone who experiences trauma revisits the disturbing experiences many times in an effort to understand what they might have done differently to diminish the harm they sustained or avoid the situation altogether. This is a hard-wired response to pain. Our brains are trying to develop a plan for avoiding future harm. But it is important to understand that the way we respond in dire circumstances is also brain-based.

“It’s About Brains, Not Drugs.” New Study Finds That the Expectation of Alcohol Leads to Greater Dopamine Release in People with a Family History of Alcoholism.

A study led by researchers at Columbia and Yale University and published in Biological Psychiatry in May 2018 adds to the large and growing body of research that supports the view that substance use disorders are brain diseases with powerful effects on thinking and behavior, and that there are genetic variations that affect the development and progression of these disorders

Patterns of Alcohol Consumption Becoming More Similar for Men and Women

Yesterday I posted the results of a study that found an increased risk of accidental and intentional death among women and young people with alcohol use disorders. Now there is a brand new study, published online by the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (September 2015) that indicates that over the last decade, women have begun to drink much more similarly to men.