Book and Program review by Top Doctors, Addiction Specialist’s and Psychiatrist?s

Max A. Schneider, M.D. FASMA - Former President, American Society for Addiction Medicine

Max A. Schneider, M.D. FASMA – Former President, American Society for Addiction Medicine

It has been said that, “There are many roads to Rome.” Lynn Kesselman has paved another in his Five Gates: The Science of Healing The Spirit. Attacking the full spectrum of the psycho/social/spiritual/physical disease of addiction, Five Gates beautifully recognizes the interrelation of these four components and that wellness (which is also called sobriety) demands a fine tuned balance of all four components. Kesselman draws attention to the mind, body and spirit evolving in an intriguing and methodical manner. Altering our thoughts, emotions and spirituality also alters our physiology and medical health. Uniquely defining spirituality, Five Gates directs you to a clearer understanding of just what this very necessary life component is about; thus enabling your light of awareness to turn on and clarity to emerge. Addiction is a chronic, not an acute illness. It is a progressive disease. It demands our continuing attention.

These Gates might well be traversed over and over. Gate by Gate one progresses from illness, confusion and fear to clarity and hopefulness; from poor health to wellness; from slavery to freedom. Such a road can bring joy to all, especially the addicted.

My first impression was that Five Gates is a postgraduate course to the original “12 Steps.” I still think this is true. I also believe that the Five Gates process might be called “auto-psychoanalysis.” Yes, it can be done solo but, like author Kesselman, I believe that for the most powerful results the use of an instructor is wisest.

The Five Gates is a call for action and is not instead of Alcoholics Anonymous (or any of AA’s offshoots such as Narcotics Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous, etc.) but in addition to these important life saving programs.

Max Schneider, M.D. is a Fellow and past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Addiction Medicine) at the University of California at Irvine College of Medicine, and was past President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine.



Jokichi Takamine, M.D. Former President, American Society for Addiction Medicine

I have served as President and Executive Director for Bridge Back Correctional Re-Entry Facility (prison) for the past 35 years where I have attended to the needs of countless recovering people. I have come to see recovery from addictions as only one dimension of a far greater need. The greater need touches all of us; we need a firm connection with a sense of faith that we can have a good life free from anxiety, depression, addictions and all of the emotional and mental disorders which typically plague almost every inmate at Bridge Back.

The early vision for Bridge Back was that we would help our inmates recover from substance addictions, but early on we learned that all who suffer from this affliction also suffer from anxieties, depression, and other emotional and mental disorders. They are connected in ways brilliantly and thoroughly explained in Five Gates: The Science of Healing the Spirit. We’ve all dreamed that one day there would be a magic pill that would banish these problems, but until now it seemed as though such a universal answer would be many years in coming.

Five Gates: The Science of Healing the Spirit is not a pill but it is the first program I have seen which holds the promise of arresting and reversing the epidemic which keeps mine and all other prisons full and the courts overwhelmed with an endless supply of new disturbed and addicted offenders. Five Gates starts by helping us see how we have become who we are and continues to describe not only how we would ideally be, but also gives us a method by which we can improve ourselves quickly.

At first it seemed wrong to believe that one program could solve all of these problems at the same time and quickly. We have fellowships for alcoholism, narcotic addictions, cocaine addictions, rage disorder, eating disorders, sexual compulsions, emotional unrest, and countless others. We have medical specialists for every one of these, yet so few people really get well. I believe that Lynn Kesselman has hit on the method for tying all of these together into a single perspective and treatment method for reversing their underlying cause, the dysfunctional fears which drive people into these states of disrepair. The Five Gates Program attacks these problems at their root which we all knew was anchored in us from our childhood. Now we have a tool, independent from expensive and long drawn out medical treatments, to cleanse ourselves from these early in life dysfunctional beliefs. The fact that it does this so quickly comes less surprising as we visit with Lynn personally on the pages of this book and discover for the first time we have found a tool for seeing and repairing the original problem.

For those who have believed that they could not understand a presentation or method of sweeping importance, this book will soon change their minds. Lynn has a way of expressing the truth in terms we can all understand.

Mr. Roy Evans – Former President and Executive Director for Bridge Back Correctional Re-Entry Facility for over 35 years.