A Happy and Sober Holiday Season 2020 Version

Last year I wrote a series of posts that I called “Your Definitive Guide to a Happy Sober Holiday Season.” It accurately described many of the challenges persons in recovery can face during the holiday season. Click here for the blog post on an accurate assessment of recovery status. Click here for a guide to a sober holiday – people,...[ read more ]

COVID 19, A New Normal and Being Tired

“I’m so tired. Is that normal?”   If you’ve ever been in therapy with me, you probably know I avoid the term “normal” in my clinical practice. I don’t find it helpful as most of the topics people ask the “normal” question about are highly contextual and in a range. Examples include alcohol use, frequency of sex in a partnership,...[ read more ]

Grief – Physical, Mental, and Cognitive

I forgot an assignment last month. Now, that might not seem like a big deal, but I am in in a Doctorate program; I have participated in a LOT of academics. I have 3 degrees and several certifications; I have done an s-ton of assignments, and never forgotten one until last month. Why? Grief. Did you know forgetfulness is a...[ read more ]

Your Definitive Guide To a Happy Sober Holiday Season – Tools And Tips

Welcome to the Tools and Techniques Entry. So far, you’ve reviewed your current status of recovery in general, and you’ve assessed your upcoming holiday specifically. Today we’ll build a list of tools and techniques that can help you curate a holiday season that you enjoy free of the substances and behaviors you are avoiding. “No, thank you” is adequate and...[ read more ]

Your Definitive Guide to a Happy, Sober Holiday Season – People, Places, and Traditions

“The Holidays” Those 2 words create feelings, emotions, and begin a series of automatic responses in people. For some, “the Holidays” creates feelings of fun, festive, family celebrations. They remember and anticipate laughter, Aunt Jen’s sugar cookies, Dad’s turkey, and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while Mom tells everyone “to stay out of the kitchen.” For others, the memories...[ read more ]

Your Definitive Guide to a Happy and Sober Holiday Season – Accurate Status Assessment

Happy Sober Holidays

It’s common for newly sober persons to be concerned about “The Holidays.” Totally understandable. The holidays bring together many of the elements known to challenge sobriety or a recovery program: family, celebrations, cultural expectation of partying with alcohol, time demands, official and unofficial parties, money and budget demands, travel, disruption of the usual schedule. It’s possible to enjoy a sober...[ read more ]

7 Reasons You Should Start a Gratitude Practice Today

7 Reasons You Should Start a Gratitude Practice Today November is known in the Recovery Community as “Gratitude Month.” Go to a 12 Step Meeting in the month of November, and the selected topic is even more likely to be “gratitude.” (In case you are not aware, gratitude is a common meeting topic the other 11 months, too.) Meeting attendees...[ read more ]

The Science of Woo: Tai Chi and QiGong

A while back, I began a series titled “The Science of Woo: How the practices of spiritual disciplines, positive psychology, and other “out there” ideas are backed by science.” You can read earlier posts in the series below: I covered forgiveness. Here you can read about the science of gratitude. And you can LMAO yourself into healthy sobriety. Helping others...[ read more ]

The Science of Woo: Service and Volunteerism

The Greek philosopher Aristotle summarized that the essence of life is “To serve others and do good.” It’s Memorial Day in the United States, and I thought that would be a good day to publish the next in my series “The Science of Woo: Service and Volunteerism. You can find the beginning of the series here. My own personal philosophy...[ read more ]

The Science of Woo: Laughter

Before I went to sleep last night, I laughed so hard tears came out of my eyes. When I woke up this morning, my sides hurt. The same thing happened yesterday. This is a special and delightful weekend for the Recovery Therapist. My daughter graduated from college yesterday. That is, of course, one of my proudest moments to date. The...[ read more ]

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