• How Optimism and Music Saved Her Life

    Posted: November 26, 2010, 9:07 am

    The oldest living survivor of the Nazi Camps, Alice Herz-Summer will celebrate her 106th birthday.She credits music and optimism for saving her life and the life of her son.In 1943, at 39 Alice was ordered to leave...

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  • The Hidden Pain of the Addicted Family

    Posted: September 21, 2010, 6:31 am

    Part of “Recovery Month” SeriesIn the 1960s, when my Dad got treatment, we all thought that once the alcoholic got sober, the rest of us in the family would sort of get better automatically. Normalcy would be...

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  • Recovery Movement Grassfires Ignited

    Posted: September 13, 2010, 10:11 am

    My high school motto was “Great in ‘68”. My colleague on the board of The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), Peter Palanca’s, was “Fine in “69”. As kids living in homes where addiction...

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  • When Adults Play

    Posted: July 31, 2010, 9:26 am

    Play is defined by researchers as an activity that encourages positive emotions and allows people to complete high-order relational goals, such as getting to know each other, learning about each other or engaging in a...

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  • Mental Dis-Ease: PTSD: Suicides in Iraq

    Posted: June 30, 2010, 5:12 am

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month so yesterday, on the Today Show, Joey Pantoliano talked about his own struggles with mental dis-ease as he likes to call it, “mental illness seems so permanent, not like the temporary...

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  • The Birth of Alanon: A TV Special of Lois W’s Life

    Posted: June 20, 2010, 5:12 am

    “They say that no fewer than four people are affected by someone’s drinking, I counted seven,” reflects Lois Wilson. Seven people whose lives were profoundly affected by one person’s addiction. If you have ever...

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  • FInding Quiet in New York City (and Other High Stress Places)

    Posted: June 10, 2010, 9:41 am

    I don’t accept telephone solicitations. Ever. It’s not that I have anything against being generous or kind, I am simply preserving my quite. Other than my children, I don’t talk on the phone at night after 8:00 pm....

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  • Founder of Alanon, Lois W’s Life Starring Wynona Ryder

    Posted: June 8, 2010, 5:12 am

    The story of ALANON’s beginnings and the life of Lois Wilson, wife of Bill Wilson the co-founder of AA, is scheduled to be aired as a Hallmark Hall of Fame Presentation on the CBS Network on Sunday, April 25 at 9 P.M....

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  • Finding Your Own Creativity

    Posted: June 1, 2010, 6:49 am

    The key question isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why...

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  • A Sleeping Sickness of the Soul

    Posted: May 28, 2010, 8:13 am

    There also exists a sleeping sickness of the soul. Its most dangerous aspect is that one is unaware of its coming. That is why you have to be careful ... You should realize that your soul suffers if you live superficially....

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  • Are You Self Medicating Your Emotional Stress with Food?

    Posted: April 27, 2010, 5:12 am

    Talking about someone “drowning their troubles” with alcohol has been around for ages, but the idea of feeding feelings instead of experiencing them, of using food to deaden stressed out or uncomfortable emotions, in...

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  • How To Achieve Natural Highs

    Posted: April 24, 2010, 5:12 am

    Attaining that “Feel Good” State the Natural Way: Finding Emotional SobrietyOur thoughts, emotions and our behavior ALL effect our body chemistry. Just climbing out of bed in the morning and getting into a hot shower...

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  • Portrait Of An Alcoholic Family

    Posted: April 18, 2010, 5:12 am

    Forgotten Children — Right Next Door?One in four children in the United States are exposed to alcoholism or drug addiction in the family. This means that in your apartment building, your neighbor hood or among your...

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  • Mark Kerrigan: Self Medicating His PTSD With Alcohol?

    Posted: April 12, 2010, 5:12 am

    Using drugs and/or alcohol to cope with PTSD is extremely common. It looks 45-year-old Mark Kerrigan, sister of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan, who also had her brush with aggressive and unruly behavior, may be doing just...

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  • You are 90 Seconds Away from a Calm Heartand Body

    Posted: March 31, 2010, 5:12 am

    You can actually make your body systems function more efficiently by regularly taking a little 90 second break to focus on your heart. What goes on in our hearts affects our entire bodies. The heart’s electromagnetic...

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  • 6 Year Old Zachary Christie Sentenced to 45 Days in Reform School for Bringing Camping Knife to School … to Eat Lunch With

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:12 am

    Those of us who are parents, who raised little boys who wanted to be Daniel Boone foraging through the wilderness, independent, capable and ready for adventure, have chills running down our spines. What if our little boys...

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  • The Growing Problem of Adolescent Addiction: NYC Wants to Create a “Recovery High School”

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:12 am

    How are these for some chilling statistics?The number of teens entering treatment for addictive disorders has jumped 65% since 1992.And if that’s not disturbing enough, the average age of teens needing treatment...

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  • Dianne Schuler: When Denial Costs Lives

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:10 am

    Denial is a dangerous thing, it can leave families shattered and broken, make perfectly good lives sail off track and in the case of Dianne Schuler, it can be the direct cause of eight deaths.In the case of Dianne...

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  • How Relationships Heal Emotional Pain: Try A Twelve Step Meeting

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:09 am

    Why do people feel better after attending a twelve step meeting? Why do twelve step meetings work so well for healing emotional pain and establishing new behaviors? Some of that answer lies in neurobiology. Because of the...

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  • Managing Grief Around The Holiday

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:07 am

    The holidays are a time of heightened reality. A time to reaffirm bonds of friendship and family. The general merriment of the season can make what we have in our lives resonate wonderfully with a sense of abundance and...

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  • Forgiveness Around The Holidays

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:05 am

    I have always felt that the field of psychology has divided itself too much from the spiritual nature of people. You cannot look into the DSM1V (our psychological diagnostic manual), for example, and find “soul...

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  • A Way Out Of Addiction: The Mental Health Parity Act Takes Effect This Week

    Posted: March 18, 2010, 5:03 am

    “Most of us start off the new year with a commitment to change or want to fix some troubling aspect of our lives,” reflects William Moyers VP of Relations at Hazelden. But, “for millions of Americans who woke up with...

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  • Why Do Some ACOAs Thrive in Spite of the Odds?

    Posted: December 1, 2009, 5:12 am

    In my previous blog we outlined the problematic qualities that can develop when growing up with addiction. But ACOA’s can also often develop powerful strengths from facing and overcoming childhood challenges. This a good...

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  • Adult Children of Alcoholics ACoAs: Qualities and Traits

    Posted: November 25, 2009, 5:10 am

    September is national recovery month so I thought I’d blog about a population most dear to my heart, ACoAs.Shows like Intervention along with celebrity after celebrity photographed in sunglasses entering various...

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  • Diane Schuler: The Sad Legacy of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

    Posted: October 27, 2009, 4:19 pm

    On July 26, Diane Schuler entered a busy upstate highway going the wrong direction with her 2-year-old daughter and three young nieces, ages 8, 7 and 5, in the car with her. All were killed when she collided with a SUV,...

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  • Tough Guy Soprano Joey Pantoliano Goes to Iraq

    Posted: October 21, 2009, 5:12 am

    Many of you know Joey Pantoliano (or Joey Pants) as the tough guy Ralph from The Sopranos or the sharp and capable Cosmo, assistant to Tommy Lee Jones, from the popular movies The Fugitive and U.S. Marshals. But today...

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  • Creating A False Self: Learning To Live A Lie

    Posted: September 26, 2009, 5:10 am

    Why Would Someone Create a False Self?We all, to some extent, cultivate a false self for protection, but most of us are aware of it, we know we’re putting on a bit of an act in certain situations. But those whose...

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  • Narcissism In A Bottle: The Self-Centeredness Of Addiction

    Posted: September 2, 2009, 5:09 am

    Over the years I have listened to a sort of running monologue from clients who grew up with an addicted parent. It goes something like this: “I felt like it was all about them, like what was going on inside of me was...

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  • Codependency Pt 2: An Incomplete Sense of Self

    Posted: August 26, 2009, 5:04 am

    To Review: In my previous blog The Biology of Codependency we discussed that.... In high states of fear the prefrontal cortex (read: our thinking brain) temporarily shuts down while our limbic (read: feeling/sensing...

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  • The Benefits To This Recession

    Posted: August 18, 2009, 5:03 am

    Some friends and I were sinking into that backdrop of twilight sky, flickering lights and people in motion that make eating outside in this city so strangely cozy and entertaining...and we got to talking. There are some...

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  • Why New York City is Good for the Brain

    Posted: August 10, 2009, 5:02 am

    Our brains love to be challenged and stimulated. Tourists and settlers alike, seeking adventure, culture and business are ever flooding this city because something about New York does just that, challenges and stimulates...

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  • Take a Cue in Life from Angela Lansbury

    Posted: July 19, 2009, 5:01 am

    I would have gladly gone to The Shubert Theater to see Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” last month just to see Angela Lansbury take her curtain call. Her absolutely infectious and charming rendition of Madame Arcati was a...

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  • Five Easy and Fast Stress Busters

    Posted: June 25, 2009, 5:00 am

    Welcome back. Hopefully over the holiday weekend you remembered what it feels like to be relaxed. You may have wondered “is all this stress really worth it?” Or, “how can I hang on to some of this lovely, relaxed...

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  • How We’re Wired for Gut Reactions

    Posted: May 27, 2009, 5:12 am

    Gut reactions, it turns out, may have a higher rate of accuracy in their ability to predict outcome then the most carefully laid, “scientific” plans. In his book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, Dr....

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  • Anxiety: What We Have in Common with Baboons

    Posted: April 7, 2009, 5:12 am

    Human beings aren’t the only ones who experience stress. All vertebrates—fish, birds, and reptiles—respond to stressful situations by secreting the same hormones that we humans do, such as adrenaline and...

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  • Children of Alcoholics Week

    Posted: March 4, 2009, 5:10 am

    It’s “Children of Alcoholics Week” so this blog is dedicated to anyone, of any age, who has lived with addiction and the emotional extremes, chaos and dysfunction that it engenders. One of the strange phenomena of...

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  • Tips on Managing Emotions

    Posted: March 3, 2009, 5:10 am

    Because our emotions are experienced in our bodies, emotions make us want to do something. People aren’t built to simply lie back and feel their emotions. The experience of emotions is accompanied by the release of...

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  • Greening Your Emotional Life: Make Emotional Balance Sustainable

    Posted: February 23, 2009, 5:09 am

    Life is continuously happening to us. We’re in a constantly evolving pattern of injury and healing, loss and redemption. Emotional fitness, strength and sobriety allow us to face the daily ups and downs of life with...

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  • Laughter is Good for the Body, Mind and Social Relationships

    Posted: February 12, 2009, 5:06 am

    Laughter is a complex brain/body catharsis, if you will, that is cleansing and enlivening mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. Let’s face it, we all love the guy who makes us laugh. A good laugh helps us to...

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  • Living in the Moment

    Posted: February 7, 2009, 5:05 am

    Clients are telling me that they are feeling the effects of the recession and some sort of deep social change that they cannot exactly name. The old paradigms seem to be shifting, caving in, and the new ones are not fully...

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  • Celebrate Anyway

    Posted: January 20, 2009, 5:12 am

    A friend of mine works at a successful New York City advertising firm. When her firm had to make some cuts to the budget, I was impressed at how they adapted to their current financial climate. They couldn’t justify...

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  • Recession Proofing Your Holiday

    Posted: January 12, 2009, 5:11 am

    Not being able to do all that we might be used to doing seems to have some side benefits. Here’s what I am hearing people say. “I’m more aware of what really matters, I’m focusing on gathering with family and...

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  • Tips on Surviving the Recession

    Posted: January 3, 2009, 5:09 am

    As a psychologist, I am starting to see the effects of the recession in my therapy groups. When the difficult financial news first hit and was coupled with all of the tension around the presidential elections, I...

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  • When Fear Takes Us Over

    Posted: December 23, 2008, 5:12 am

    As more and more bad financial news comes into the media and the reality of the current state of our world of commerce sinks in, there is a pervasive feeling or fear and groundlessness that comes along with it.The...

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  • A Grandmother’s Love

    Posted: December 9, 2008, 5:12 am

    It seems such a heartbreaking reality that Barack Obama’s grandmother was not able to live the seventy two hours that would have allowed her to witness the child she loved, the child she stood by, become President of the...

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  • An Integrated National Psyche

    Posted: December 6, 2008, 5:12 am

    Integration is a word often used by psychologists to describe a psychological state in which we are consciously consolidating the various parts of our inner world into a coherent whole. The thought behind “psychological...

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  • Embracing Uncertainty

    Posted: November 16, 2008, 5:12 am

    Having survived the initial and most earth shaking part of our financial crisis, we are now heading into what feel like uncertain times, so what can we do to buffer ourselves against sinking into the down side of...

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  • Bring Your Anxiety Back to Normal So Your Thinking Can Be Clear

    Posted: November 11, 2008, 5:12 am

    The Theater has gone dark on the financial dramas of the past week. Much of what we will see if we glue ourselves in front of our computers, TVs and blackberry’s this weekend will be, speculation on what is going on...

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  • Don’t Panic, it Won’t Help

    Posted: November 10, 2008, 5:12 am

    The free falls on Wall Street are beginning to evidence themselves in free falls of emotional sobriety. “I’m seeing a lot of sleep issues, people with gastrointestinal illness and chronic stomach issues, and people who...

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  • Financial Sobriety

    Posted: October 26, 2008, 5:12 am

    These are the times that try men’s.....and women’s ......emotional sobriety. There are few institutions that are as affected as much, by the emotional climate, as the stock market. And right now, the stock market is...

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About the Author

Tian Dayton PhD

Senior fellow at The Meadows, psychologist, psychodramatist, author Emotional Sobreity,ACoA Trauma Syndrome, Forgiving and Moving On, Huff Post blogger, speaker... Read More