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Cheza Collier Garvin

I am so sorry Alan is gone. My deep-felt condolences go out to all his family members. He was always happy to help launch the careers of others. I was one of his graduate students in 1985. He was totally supportive of my interests in the relationship between addictions and chronic disease, particularly alcohol and hypertension. He taught me about relapse prevention and inspired my work as a clinical psychologist/behavioral scientist in public health. As others have said, Alan was so personable and down to earth, you'd never know how huge he was in the field if you happened to meet him casually in the street. We used to talk for hours about life and he was the best dissertation chair.... Alan, you laid a great foundation for so many of us, much love to you, RIP.

James Epps

I have just found out about Alan's death. I was one of Alan's many post-docs, almost 20 years ago. I have appreciated the doors that Alan opened for me. I know his influence on the selection committee helped me to land my faculty position at the University of South Florida. Moreover, I appreciated his warmth, his openness, and his gentle way. Twenty years later, his death brings tears. I carry him with me still.

Wendy Ducat, Ph.D. (Brisbane, Australia)

I am deeply saddened to learn of Alan's passing. His generosity, kindness and vision inspired me and so many others. My condolences to his family and friends. Namaste.

Rami Jumnoodoo  May 16,2011 at 23.35PM

I have met Alan on many occasions andon each occasion we had fun talking about anything from life in general to relapse prevention. Over a few glasses of fine wines we were always laughing; a sense of camaraderie which will always stay with me. Alan also fine-tuned my mind in the world of Relapse Prevention, and in Brent UK we all somehow have been touched by his sudden departure although his legacy very active
especially with service users. A real gentleman with a real sense of helping people. Just today i received a book,Mental Health- Substance Use,where i found both Alan and myself are authors of two chapters following one and other. I could imagine what his comments would be !! that's . He would be great.He would be sadly missed.

Erica Rayner-Horn M.A., Mindful Therapy.

I am deeply saddened by Alan Marlatt’s passing. It is a great personal and professional loss –he is greatly missed. Personally, I feel deeply honoured to have known Alan and his remarkable vision, heart and generosity. I miss him and our wonderful conversations over lunch! Professionally, I am grateful for Alan's kindness and support for my work. He invited me to teach mindfulness in his classes at University of Washington, wrote an endorsement of my mindfulness meditation CD, and encouraged me with my book on cancer and mindfulness.
It is a great loss for the mindfulness community, and especially here in Seattle where Alan was passionate about creating a Center for Mindfulness. Several of us who teach the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program gathered this last weekend to sit in meditation together in honour of Alan and share our reminiscences.
My deep condolences to his family, many friends and colleagues.
Erica Rayner-Horn M.A.,
Mindful Therapy,
Seattle, WA

Sara Liu, J.D. LL.B.

Dr. Marlatt was my sponsor for my undergrad honors psychology project from 2004 until 2007. He was a great mentor. He gave me a lot of confidence in my work and helped me through a rough period of my life. He always joked that someday i would be become an expert in "harm reduction" and be his research liaison in other parts of the world.
I wish i had a chance to meet him before his passing. He was a great man.

May you rest in peace, Dr. Marlatt. I miss you!

Sara Liu

Clark reed

I first met alan in front of the ABRC, I was meeting one of his grad students to be involved as an UGR. HE said hi I'm Alan he waS SO UNPRETENTIOUS IT WASN'T TIL LATER i LEARNED HE WAS THE DIRECTOR. when i MET HIM i WAS FINISHING A 5year term for sale of marj. he was my mentor and i considered him a friend.I went to many brown bags and he even asked me to speak at a brown bag. I was talking with alan about how persons with addiction problems should be treated more humanly I said were not in Kansas any more. He asked me what i meant i said prison was a black and white world but listing to alan was like being in a world of light and color. I will miss his unique personality. I pray for peace and blessings to his family. Clarkson C. Reed BS with distinction

Barbara McCrady

I first met Alan in 1977 at the NATO conference on experimental approaches to alcoholism, organized by Alan, Peter Nathan, and Jan Loberg. We became friends, and later served on the NIAAA Psychosocial Review committee from 1979-1982. Over the years, we shared drinks, lunches, dinners, and conversations at meetings across the country; shared joys and sorrows from our lives; disagreed about many issues in the addictions field; and occasionally criticized each other's ideas in print. Throughout these almost 35 years, Alan always was a friend.
Alan was a person whose ideas were important, and a person whose humanity and deep caring about others drove everything he did. He was creative, funny, loved to think outside the box, and was great at helping others to see and understand his perspective. He also was incredibly generous - he always made sure I met his current students, and promoted his students' accomplishments. Typical of Alan's generosity and intellectual integrity, he took a courageous stand during the controlled drinking controvery, and in fact devoted his presidential talk at AABT (now ABCT) to the topic, with the primary goal of making it crystal clear to the academic community that Linda and Mark Sobell's work was beyond reproach.
I miss him as a friend; and I know that the field will deeply miss his originality, scientific brilliance, and his passion for making life better for persons touched by alcohol and drug problems.

Barbara McCrady
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Director, Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions
University of New Mexico

Paulo Figueiredo

When, as a young clinical psychologist newly arrived to one of the biggest Portuguese psychiatric hospitals (Lorvão Psychiatric Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal) , I read Alan Marlatt´s book "Relapse Prevention", I was certain I´ve just finished to read the most important book in the field of addiction. Since then I followed his work with interest and enthousiasm, applying those ideas and technics in the treatment of thousands of patients, having notorious therapheutic success.Many years later, being the director of Clinical Psychology Department of Lorvão Hospital, I invited Alan to come to our hospital, for a conference and workshop. He came having no pay at all - we just had money enough to pay the flights and hotel... What a BIG and unforgettable day it was !! 300 persons working in the addiction field come from all country just to hear him and debate with him.
Today I mourn the departure of an inspiring author and scientist, who has marked definitevely my work and the work of many colleagues all around the world. I think this is the best reward he felt : Alan was a simple and kind man, always smiling about our scientific curiosity - he always had a lot of this!! But, also, I mourn a friend : Alan gave me the honour of his friendship. He was also a tender man,asking me to send photos of my twin little children he knew when he came to Coimbra, and telling me how beautiful they were...
There are persons that touch our lives in a very special manner. Alan Marlatt was one of them.
One last note : in Portugal, the news about his death largely spread within all the scientific community, namely mental health & addiction treatment community.

Susan Tapert

Alan was a brilliant and creative force, who worked very hard and made this work fun for those around him. He taught us that one can be productive and successful while being a kind person. We will miss him so much. I think he would be pleased to see how this community of researchers, clinicians, and others have come together to celebrate his life.


I was one of Alan’s postdoctoral research fellows in psychology. During my fellowship, Alan mentored me on the various applications of Harm Reduction in the field of addiction. Because of him, I was able to work on important research advancing understanding of mindfulness and addiction; the application of a harm reduction philosophy toward the housing of alcohol-dependent homeless individuals; and the need for tribal research that is fully collaborative and culturally meaningful. Without Alan’s guidance and support, I would not have the privilege to do the work I do today. But more than this, Alan was my friend. He was a kind, compassionate, warm person; and a real character! He brought countless people together, making each one of us feel special. He will be deeply missed; but he has left behind a dedicated army of supporters to continue his work. I am blessed to be among them.

Raymond Anton, MD

Alan, was small in stature but a giant in the field. As a person, he had a quiet nature but his soft spoken thoughts always had large impact. I first met Alan through his work with Project Match where his wisdom was always welcome. Although our training and approach were sometimes orthogonal, we never failed to see eye to eye on important issues and he kept us focused on the importance the work - to help people with alcohol problems. His ideas and his warm personality will live on. It is not often that one can change how large numbers of professionals think and behave. Thanks Alan for doing that for us. Your humanity transcended your science. Both will transcend your passing.

Raymond F. Anton, MD
Distinguished University Professor
Director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs
Medical University of South Carolina
Past President of RSA

Lorna Edwards

Alan, thank you for your inspiring influence in my work as a psychotherapist and my life.
I will do my best to carry on your work in my context.

Lorna Edwards

Julie A. Patock_Peckham

Alan will be seriously missed. He was so interested in the work of others that he would seek out scared doctoral students at Research Society on Alcoholism and discuss the details of their published work with them before one even knew who he was. This is a rare and wonderful quality in someone so famous. Alan's gentle manner with people will be deeply missed.
Julie A. Patock-Peckham, Ph.D.

Michael Amlung

Dr. Marlatt's research on problem drinking in college student populations served as the impetus for my own research program that tackles these problems from a psychological perspective. Through the tireless work of Dr. Marlatt and his colleagues, focus on the growing problems of binge drinking and alcohol misuse on college campus remained on the radar of scientists, policy makers, and school administrators alike. I will miss reading his many contributions.

Michael Amlung
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Psychology
University of Georgia

Saul Shiffman

It is hard to believe he's gone. Alan was a presence - a kindly, warm humorous one. He always had a twinkle in his eye, and always an encouraging word for everyone, including me. I encountered his work early in my career, and met him a bit later. Although we weren't in the same city (except for a brief period when he was kind enough to have me out at UW for sabbatical - a wonderful time), and didn't talk or meet very often, he was always 'there' ('here' actually) any time I reached out to him. His ideas had a huge influence on addictions research and treatment. His personal warmth and support nourished so many of us. He is and will be missed, but both his intellectual contributions and his personal gifts live on.

Saul Shiffman

Tom Horvath


You gave me encouragement early in my career, and kept supporting me as the years went by. I know you had many demands on you but you supported so many of us. I promise to carry your generosity forward, and to do my best to carry your ideas and innovations forward.

Tom Horvath

Beatriz Aramburu Ph.D.

Alan, you will be missed. We met almost thirty years ago, when I attempted to complete my education by entering grad school. Little did I know how much it meant at the time, but with your warm heart and amazing generosity, you took me under your wing and risked opening the doors of a highly competitive graduate program to a non native who could barely communicate in English. Then, as your student, you were there at those key moments when I most needed it with encouragement and wise words that transmitted confidence and trust in my abilities. Without you, my life and my family's would have been completely different, Thank you and my thoughts are now with your family and loved ones. --We all lost a giant psychologist and a very, very good person, one who inspired and brought out the best in us.

Sam Lee

Professor Alan Marlatt is a really nice and kind man. He devoted a lot of energies to illustrate the addictive behavior. I am so glad to learn Mindfulness-based relapse prevention from him. MBRP and Alan touch my heart so much. if possibly, MBRP will be more familiar and widely applied in Taiwan. Best regards and prayer are with Alan and his family.

Sam Lee
Certificated Clinical Psycholoist
National Cheng-Kung University

Peter Myers

I cite Alan's Abstinence Violation Effect almost every day to explain severe relapse, when students insist that alcoholism progresses during sobriety. He has had a profound influence on my teaching, writing, and understanding of addiction; I can't think of another who matches him.

Peter L. Myers, Ph.D.

Chudley Werch, PhD, President, Brief Programs for Health

Alan was gracious in accepting my invitation to speak with health behavior scientists and practitioners about his latest research at a scientific meeting in Jacksonville, Florida a couple of years ago. His research was extraordinarily innovative, and he was gentle, kind and thoroughly engaged with anyone who showed an interest. Even more rare was his courage. Throughout his professional career he never flinched at examining the most controversal and critical questions in the addictions field. It was wonderful to have met him personally and to know that outstanding science and kindness can and do co-exist. My prayers and thoughts are with him and his family.

Byron Fujita, PhD

Like Ed Chaney above, I was one of Alan's first graduate student when he came to UofW in 1972. Eventually, he was my dissertation chairman. When I expressed some anxiety about my oral defense, he looked me in the eye and said "Just remember, you know more about this subject than anyone in the room". It helped a lot. He always found him concerned, caring, and more than approachable. He will missed both personally and professionally.

Larry Schonfeld

I was deeply saddened to hear about Alan Marlatt's passing. He was not only an outstanding scholar, but also a terrific person. His relapse prevention approach was a major influence for both our research and the treatment programs we developed for older adults with substance abuse problems. I first met him in the late 1980's during his visit to the University of South Florida. Later on he was kind enough to serve as a reviewer of my tenure and promotion application. I visited him in Seattle on one occasion in around 1990, and while speaking with him, marveled at how such an accomplished scientist could be so personable and approachable. Even though I was not a student of his and only interacted with him several occasions, I felt like he was a mentor. While we will miss him greatly, it is nice to know that his legacy in the field will live on.

My sincere condolences to his family, students, colleagues, and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Larry Schonfeld, PhD
Professor and Interim Executive Director, Florida Mental Health Institute,
University of South Florida

Alan R. Lang

I was a social psychology graduate student at Wisconsin when I took an elective seminar on addictive behaviors with Alan Marlatt in the early 1970s. After reading the required research proposal on alcohol and aggression I developed for that class, he remarked: “This is a good idea; why don’t you do the experiment?” With his facilitation, I did, and I also transferred to clinical psychology and totally redirected my research to focus on the antecedents and consequences of human alcohol use. Although Alan departed for Washington shortly thereafter, his encouragement and support for me continued for nearly 40 years, shaping and advancing my career--and the careers and lives of the multitude of others he has inspired and empowered--in countless ways. He was, without a doubt, one of the greatest contributors to basic and applied research on addiction of all time, blending creativity, sensitivity, and rigor in all of his work and never shrinking in the face of challenge. More than that, he was an extraordinary human being who was warm and generous in a way that very few people of his stature (or any stature) are and in that regard, among others, serves as a model for all of us to emulate. I offer my heartfelt condolences to family, friends, and colleagues in mourning this profound loss.
Alan R. Lang, Ph.D.
R. Robert von Brϋning Professor of Psychology
Florida State University

Wolfgang P. Beiglboeck, Ph.D.

I´ve only met Alan once at a conference and I was impressed by his generosity, his empathy and his passion for the field of addiction treatment. We only kept in touch via e-mail, but due to his generosity it was possible to translate his MBRP into German.
Although I have met him only once I have the feeling of loosing not only a great colleague but a friend, too....

Stacey Prince

What a shock this is. My sincere condolences go out to Alan's family, his students, and all those who loved him. I first met Alan during my first year of graduate school at UW, at a very, very early morning weekly meditation practice he hosted in his home. The mindfulness meditation he taught, which was so central to his own work, became central to mine as well as to my own personal well-being and self-care.

As many have said, his influence on the field of psychology has been tremendous, revolutionary even. His use of mindfulness meditation techniques in the prisons and in addiction treatment, his relapse prevention and harm reduction work, were innovations that have changed the field forever.

For me his passing is also bringing back many sad memories of the also terribly sudden passing of my graduate school advisor, Neil Jacobson, a decade ago. I feel for Alan's students and hope they will find guidance and solace as they move forward from this tremendous loss.

Paula Wilbourne, Ph.D.

Alan was a kind and inspirational leader in our field. He was generous with his time, wisdom, and willingness to support developing professionals. He infused our field with compassion and hope. His contributions to our field will continue to inspire us to offer the highest quality services to the individuals we work with. I am honored to have learned from him.

Reid K. Hester, Ph.D.

I first met Alan in early 1974 when he came to UW from UBC and I’d taken a year off after undergrad work at UW and prior to starting grad school at WSU. I volunteered to be a confederate in a modeling study he was conducting with Barry Caudill. Little did I know then how this chance meeting would change my life. For the better.

His warm, empathic style combined with the exciting and cutting-edge research he was doing led me to getting interested in addictions and ultimately a career in this field. From my perspective Alan spent his entire career extending the boundaries of our understanding. His compassion for his students and for people with alcohol and drug problems combined with his intellectual curiosity led him to pioneer new ways of thinking and addressing these issues. His work has had a profound influence on our field and his influence will continue as he has influenced the careers of so many of us who work in this field. He was a mentor and a dear friend and I will miss him greatly.

Jamie L. Adler, Ph.D.

This is indeed very sad news. Dr. Marlatt was one of the true giants of our field and was probably the person most responsible for the introduction of a modern applied scientific approach to the behavioral treatment of addiction. His insight that people were more alike in the process of relapse than in the “positive” steps taken in sobriety was a conceptual breakthrough that led to the Relapse Prevention approach, which he first articulated and empirically applied. His later work on harm reduction helped to provide the empirical grounding that allowed this approach to be added to mainline treatments for substance use disorder.

During my grad school years at Rutgers, Dr. Marlatt was a not infrequent visitor to our Alcohol Behavior Research Lab. As a then lowly graduate assistant, I always found him to be very gracious and helpful. Something that many people don’t know about Dr. Marlatt was that one of his first faculty positions was here at UW Madison, before he moved out to the Pacific Northwest to work for that “other” UW.

He will be very sorely missed.

Jamie L. Adler, Ph.D.
Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Madison, WI

Lisa Dale Miller, MFT

Alan 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. Alan showed me great kindness as he mentored me to become a teacher of MBRP. He and I shared our love of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation in many conversations. I will never forget him and all he gave to me professionally.

My condolences go out to Kit, Kitty and his extended family.

Anne Fletcher

As the days have passed since I learned of the seriousness of Alan's illness, I keep recalling many special memories – his generosity, kindness, friendship, and all the doors he opened for me. The list keeps growing. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today.
Alan touched innumerable lives, and he will live on in so many ways. Most important are the innovation and the compassion he brought to the world of addiction treatment. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and all those who loved him.

George Marcelle

Alan Marlatt moderated a plenary session panel discussing the merits of harm reduction vs. abstinent model approaches I organized on behalf of the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies (NALGAP)many years ago. He was generous, kind, and patient with those of us who were wary of harm reduction thinking at that time. He left an indelible impression on me, as I'm sure he did on many others. I mourn his passing and celebrate his life.

Ed Chaney

Alan agreed to be my dissertation chairperson shortly after his arrival as a faculty member at the University of Washington. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. His guidance was instrumental in shaping my subsequent career as a clinical psychologist. I particularly valued his willingness to take on accepted wisdom that wasn’t founded on evidence and his sense of humor. I join those whose professional lives were shaped by him in mourning his passing.

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