Stories by tian dayton PhD on Medium

Stories by tian dayton PhD on Medium

Yes….definitely!

Posted: February 15, 2018, 3:13 pm

Yes….definitely!

Thank you Mary, what a kind note! Happy Valentines Day to you! (even a day late)

Posted: February 15, 2018, 3:12 pm

Thank you Mary, what a kind note! Happy Valentines Day to you! (even a day late)

This Valentine’s Day Write a Love Letter to YOUR SELF!

Posted: February 12, 2018, 11:28 pm

This Valentine’s Day….write a love letter to you SELF, to your own heart!

So often our focus of love is on the other person, but an important part of loving another is to know how to love ourselves, to hold our own heart in our own hands and give it love, compassion and tenderness. So this Valentine’s Day try doing something just for you.

You know best what your heart wants to hear and how to say it.

Click this link and and give a gift of love to yourself!

Letter Writing: https://www.tiandayton.com/emotionexplorer/letter-writing

Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!!!


This Valentine’s Day Write a Love Letter to YOUR SELF! was originally published in Thrive Global on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

You are so right Kajsa, I couldn’t agree with you more

Posted: February 12, 2018, 2:45 pm

You are so right Kajsa, I couldn’t agree with you more

You got it exactly….it

Posted: February 12, 2018, 2:44 pm

You got it exactly….it is from my years of working with trauma that I came to this….and I too found it riviting when I did….

Thank you for sharing this…..and

Posted: February 12, 2018, 2:43 pm

Thank you for sharing this…..and I tend to agree with your therapist….sometimes part of solving/resolving is learning to see things differently…

This Valentine’s Day Write a Love Letter to YOUR SELF!

Posted: February 12, 2018, 2:36 pm

This Valentine’s Day….write a love letter to you SELF, to your own heart!

So often our focus of love is on the other person, but an important part of loving another is to know how to love ourselves, to hold our own heart in our own hands and give it love, compassion and tenderness. So this Valentine’s Day try doing something just for you.

You know best what your heart wants to hear and how to say it.

Click this link and and give a gift of love to yourself!

Letter Writing: https://www.tiandayton.com/emotionexplorer/letter-writing

Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!!!

Voting with our Fingertips: A Movement Against Techno-Trash

Posted: January 23, 2018, 6:36 pm
Too Much Information

Technologies of all sorts are profoundly shaping what we hold in our collective unconscious; that shared subliminal space named by Carl Jung creator of Jungian analysis, that goes beyond Freud’s concept of an individual unconscious.

Whether through TV streaming channels, newsrooms or the internet, technology is inevitably shaping who we are and who we will become. And it can become addictive in which case we’re no longer able to stop, to modulate, to make intelligent decisions about what we’re looking at or participating in. Instead of viewing sites, sites start viewing us; boring cyber holes into our preferences and offering up more. We replace our relationships to people with a relationship to a screen. We’re no longer in charge, they are…and the truth of it is there is no “they”.

What can we do to bridle this incredible power, to have a collective voice in shaping it? Are we merely helpless consumers or can we rethink our role in all of this?

The advent of television in the 1950’s, led to the appearance of perfect families piped daily into the homes of America. Where did post WW11 baby boomers suddenly get the idea that families of four were natural or desirable if not from Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy? Why the indelible image of the working father and the stay at home mom?

Then the war in Vietnam entered the living rooms of young Americans and mobilized a generation. No longer “out there somewhere” the shocking realities of combat were televised on the six o’clock news, horrifying a generation that had not seen war, but grew up in the shadow of WW11; deeply affecting and uniting boomers in a sweeping, anti-war movement.

And fast forward to today and the 24 hour news channels that are inserting a drip, drip, drip feeding tube of fear and anxiety into our collective unconscious. We see news amped up, repeated over and over again and advertised like laundry detergent. These channels have created a phenomenon that has come to have a life of it’s own, blurring the line of what it means to be “well-informed” until it is worthless. We simply do not need to know all of this, it is in fact disturbing our peace and even creating the kind of anxiety that can lead to unrest.

Hollywood which let’s face it has gone its way without a soul, can tear apart the moral fabric of the country and still make billions of dollars calling it “entertainment”. Hollywood has likely been responsible for more violence than can be conceived and many of the new series on pay TV rely on violence to bring viewers, their characters are thin, their scripts are superficial and their nod to good values flimsy, simply scotch taped on for effect.

While there is money to be made, we are in danger of becoming commodities, “eyeballs”, “viewers” and little more.

In the 1950’s TV had a somewhat controlled message, seeking to instill the kinds of post war values that engendered good citizenry and wholesome values. Technology today, for better or worse, has no such oversight.

Too Many Voices: Too Much News

There is much fear from people of conscience about how information of all kinds is being disseminated and concern as to how to put the genie back in the bottle. But can it be?

Can we really look to old models of supervision when, in today’s world, there appears to be none? When each and every person has their finger on the keys and can type messages into social media and respond to them instantaneously? When there is in fact, such a phenomenon as messaging and information “going viral”?

Is this capacity for anyone to enter the conversation just one more thing to fear or could the solution lie in it as well? Could it in fact, be a saving grace? Does the internet the great equalizer, offer a way for ordinary people to enter the conversation and vote with their fingertips in much the same way as we vote with our feet on election day?

Anyone can say anything, any time.

Technology gives our current society, an opportunity to speak up as a collective (beause it’s afterall all about connecting), about what is being sold to our children and grandchildren. A chance to raise awareness about what we’re daily ingesting into our individual and our collective unconscious because make no mistake about it, these little devices we are glued to have just that kind of power. If we do not limit the amount of time we spend mindlessly surfing and staring then these very activities will limit us. They will begin to eat away are our ability to choose what we want to fill our minds with, because these are just the sorts of passive activities that seep into our unconscious and begin to shape us without our conscious awareness.

Maybe it’s time for us to be the oversight, for a users revolution. Why should we rely on large companies and politocos to take responsibility for the values disseminated by our media, when they are profiting from and propogating the outrageous, the alarming and the polarizing?

For starters we have tremendous power in one very important way. We can stop watching. We can turn our TVs off when we see content that is cheap and salacious, content that teaches bad values and trains violence. We can strengthen a conversation that could become a movement. We can vote with our fingertips. And we can make our opinions known through social media of all kinds. We can tweet, respond and write. We can garner the power of the collective both as discriminating consumers and vocal opponents of techno-trash.Time to make our voices on this heard and felt, time to shape the marketplace that’s shaping us.


Voting with our Fingertips: A Movement Against Techno-Trash was originally published in Thrive Global on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Emotional Sobriety: What it Is and Why It’s Important in Recovery and In Life

Posted: January 22, 2018, 10:58 pm

We give much attention to getting sober from drugs and alcohol but emotional sobriety is something that, in alcoholic or dysfunctional families, everyone loses. And everyone needs to get back.

The essence of emotional sobriety is good self-regulation. It means that we have mastered those mind/body skills that allow us to balance our moods. The emotional part of our brain actually sends more inputs to the thinking part of our brain than the opposite says Antonio Damassio in his book The Feeling of What Happens. In other words, when our emotions are out of control, so is our thinking, and when we can’t bring our feeling and thinking into some sort of balance, our life and our relationships feel out of balance too. The ability to self-regulate, to bring ourselves into balance, is key to emotional sobriety.

Where it Goes Wrong

Living with or growing up with addiction is a bit like inhaling second smoke. We inhale the thinking, feeling and behavior of the addict emotionally, psychologically and behaviorally; we take who they are while using, into our own inner world.

Many of the clients that I treat have never had a problem with substance abuse.

But they still act drunk.

They think in distorted ways and their emotions alternate between being overly intense or shut down, they have trouble regulating their inner world once they get triggered.

It was Bill Wilson the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous who named emotional sobriety as the “next horizon” to be met once addicts became physically sober. I would extend that need for emotional sobriety to anyone who has grown up around addiction or been the spouse of an active addict.

Emotional sobriety is a necessary next step in recovery, if you want to get over addictive/compulsive behaviors and stay over them. Alanon, the twelve step program for family members of addicts, used to refer to its members as co-addicts intuitively recognizing this second hand phenomenon. That designation morphed, in the 1980’s into co-dependent. Codependency became a movement almost overnight with people literally coming out of the woodwork to self identify. Twelve step rooms brimmed over with people who connected with the experience of being from a dysfunctional family, books were written, conferences filled up and for nearly a decade codependency was a buzz word that meant anything from a traumatized child from a pain-filled family to one who had first hand experience with addiction. Simultaneous with this movement came the adult children of alcoholics (ACoA) one. Eventually the psychiatric community came forward with the concept of dual-diagnosis which more or less meant addiction plus another diagnosis, for example anxiety, depression or PTSD. This brought forward the notion that many addicts were in fact “self medicating” underlying disorders, they were using drugs, alcohol, food, sex etc to “manage” or “medicate” the pain that they were in, that arose from untreated disorders including the trauma of growing up with addiction.

WE CAN FEEL BEFORE WE CAN THINK ABOUT WHAT WE’RE FEELING

Emotions predate reason. Our emotional wiring, that is, our limbic system, is in place from birth, but our thinking wiring isn’t in place until we’re around twelve, and even then, we’re only beginning to learn how to use it. Because of this discrepancy in development, young children cannot use their thinking to make sense of and to regulate their emotional responses to life.

We learn the skills of self-regulating, initially, through being in the presence of an adequate “external regulator,” say a mother, father or an attuned caregiver. We depend on them not only to actually calm us down when we’re upset but to show us how to do that through their own behavior. When we get out of balance, they woo us back into a state of balance. They hold us, physically and emotionally, until we restore our own calm, until our nervous system settles. Gradually we absorb the ability until we can do that for ourselves. We internalize their regulation and make it our own. Through a successful attachment, we gradually build these skills into our own self system and make them portable.

When our skills of self-regulation are well learned during childhood, they feel as if they come naturally, as if we always had them. When they are not well learned, we may reach to sources outside of ourselves to provide the sense of calm and good feeling that we cannot achieve on our own, or to recapture that sense of calm that we remember having as a small child in someone’s arms. Some of our society’s common self-medicators are drugs, alcohol, food, sex, work, technology and money. It is not these substances or behaviors in and of themselves that create problems, but our relationship to them, how we use or abuse them.

But Recovery is Possible

While emotional dis-regulation is a hallmark of trauma, emotional regulation is core to emotional sobriety. Living in the 4,5,6 range, rather than shooting from 1 to 10 and 10 to 1 emotionally, allows life to be lived in present time. It gives us the inner space to experience what we’re feeling AS we observe and think about it. It allows emotion to be translated into words and elevated to a conscious level so that we can think about what we feel as it’s happening or at least shortly afterwards.

Part of emotional sobriety lies in learning how to live with and manage a certain amount of stress, ambivalence, fear, anxiety, and disappointment, and how to temper those emotions and feelings with love, acceptance, productivity, excercise, healthy living and community.Emotional Sobriety is for people who are trying to live a balanced life.

If you have become disregulated through living with addiction or disfunction, if your emotional sobriety is not in place, it may require an active process of therapy and twelve step programs to deal with the kind of unresolved trauma that may be fueling emotional dis-regulation. There is no need to live with emotional disregulation and the shortest path to resolving it is the path through.The main thing we fear when entering a healing process is what might arise from within is. But becoming friends with our inner world opens the door to happy living, the time and work it takes to achieve this, is one of the most worthwhile endeavours of life, and the path itself is relieving and even exiting. Emotional sobriety is a gift that we give ourselves and anyone we’re close to. It is an investment in ourselves that pays dividends throughout life, not only in that it allows us to live more happily, but it helps us to avoid creating circumstances that undermine our own happiness and the happiness those we’re close to.


Emotional Sobriety: What it Is and Why It’s Important in Recovery and In Life was originally published in Thrive Global on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

The Women’s March in New York: Something in the Air

Posted: January 20, 2018, 9:00 pm

I felt proud to be a New Yorker today, proud to be a woman.The atmosphere was festive, easy, happy and yes…..committed! Any direction you looked was just one more reminder of why it’s great to stand with women. There was a level of companionship, ease and cleverness in this very large group that felt uniquely feminine. For at least an hour and a half we didn’t really move more than ten feet, everywhere you looked there were people.But it didn’t matter because the spirit of the march was so rich; so deep and wide. Maybe the fact that it was 52* and sunny, maybe that it’s been a year, maybe we’re just growing in confidence….but something feels very right. And a little bit different. There is a kind of group understanding that seems to have grown since last year’s march, (which was also wonderful).But this march has an ease about it that speaks to our movement coming into fruition. Just as the signs below say, “I am tired from yelling (and donating) all year. BUT I’M STILL HERE!!!”. And we “PERSIST”. But it’s the pleasure, friendship and joi de vivre on the women’s faces that says it all, I’m very much still here, I am here with my friends, with my dignity and with my joy.

Something in this past year is bringing women together in a new way. The combination of political and intensely personal goals has mobilized a swirl of energies that are coalescing around issues that cut across great divides. Maybe the fact that we cannot seem to elect a woman as president in spite of the fact that most other countries that we feel, let’s face it even superior to in our western way, is humbling. Maybe the metoo movement has given voice to the collective humiliation and embarassement that we’re all agreeing not to hide any more, and it’s freeing and uniting. Whatever is going on, it is good. And it is supple and it knows what it is without having to resort to rhetoric. One of the marks of a resilient person is their ability to bend as well as stand up straight, to be both strong and flexible. Whatever was going on today in this woman’s movement has these qualities, too, these marks of strength and resilience. There was something in the air today that was in a process of becoming, of defining itself; something that is emerging organically. Something that doesn’t need to be catagorized or glamorized becuase it is good, growing on its own and at the same time enough, just as it is.