Wendy Dossett

BA(Hons), PhD, PGCE, PG Cert HE, FHEA
Recovery 'spirituality'

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Wendy Dossett - BA(Hons), PhD (Wales), PGCE (Secondary RE), PGCertHE, FHEA - is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Chester, Director (Research) of the Chester Studies of Addiction, Recovery and Spirituality Group, and Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project, which explores the language of religion and spirituality in recovery from substance and other addictions. The outcomes of this research are used in CSARS Group training projects, both for people seeking recovery and for substance misuse treatment professionals.


Wendy holds a PhD in Religious Studies with a particular focus on Buddhism.  She is interested in the range and variety of Buddhist approaches to addiction recovery. She trained as a mindfulness teacher through Bangor University, and the use of mindfulness in treating substance issues is an interest. In her previous post at the University of Wales, Lampeter, Wendy was a director of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, which houses the well-known archive of more than 6,000 accounts from the general public of religious and spiritual experiences. She is interested in the ways in which such experiences are reported by people who do not identify with formal religious traditions. In 2010-11, Wendy spent a year working with people seeking recovery in a residential drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centre. This provided first-hand experience upon which to build her research in spirituality and addiction recovery.

Recent publications in this field are  ‘Twelve Step Mutual Aid: Spirituality, Vulnerability and Recovery’ in S. Harvey, S. Steidinger, & J. Beckford (Eds.), New Religious Movements and Counselling: Academic, Professional and Personal Perspectives.: Routledge, 2018; jointly with Cook, C.C.H., ‘Addiction and Forgiveness’, in Hance, S.(ed) Forgiveness – Personal, Professional, Political. Jessica Kingsley, 2018; ‘A daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.’ A commentary on Kelly, J. F. Is Alcoholics Anonymous religious, spiritual, neither? Findings from 25 years of mechanisms of behavior change research: How AA works. Addiction. 112. 6 (2017); Reflections on the Language of Salvation in Twelve Step Recovery. In H. Bacon, W. Dossett, & S. Knowles (Eds.), Alternative Salvations: Engaging the Sacred and the Secular. London: Bloomsbury Academic., and ‘Addiction, Spirituality and the Twelve Steps’ in International Social Work. May, Vol. 56, No.2. (2013)