Level 1 of recovery is the struggle to gain sobriety from the substance or behavior that has taken control of your life. Level 2 of recovery is the struggle to gain real emotional sobriety and balance by gaining humility in our relationship to ourselves, our relationship to others, and our relationship to a higher power or greater purpose.
Wow. For most of us, that’s a pretty steep climb. And you sure don’t have to be in recovery in order to benefit from that message, because really, it’s every human’s journey.
Luckily, Dr. Allen Berger is back to be our emotional mountaineer and guide us along the path to a higher level of consciousness and a higher level of fully functional adulthood. He and Dan discuss the magic that can happen when we stop trying to control everything, and stop expecting the world and everyone in it to conform to our expectations.
(If you want to hear more of these two guys keeping it real, check out Episode 2.)
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About Our Guest
Allen Berger, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in family and couples therapy, and in the science of addiction and recovery. He is best known for his work on integrating modern psychotherapy with the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and for his insights into emotional sobriety. He is also recognized for his outstanding work as a psychotherapist and trainer.
He brings a highly unique background to his profession. His own personal journey in recovery started in 1971, on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. There he fell in love with recovery and with helping people find their way out of the abyss of addiction into the light of recovery. He overcame dropping out of high school, and received a doctorate in clinical psychology from UC Davis in 1987.He was trained and mentored by two brilliant clinicians: William C. Rader, M.D. and Walter Kempler, M.D..
He is the author of several journal articles as well as two books: Love Secrets – Revealed (HCI Books, 2006) and the Best Seller, 12 Stupid Things that Mess up Recovery (Hazelden, 2008)). His pamphlet How to Get the Most out of Group Therapy (Hazelden, 2007) helps new admissions understand the process of group therapy and how to use the group to optimize their experience in treatment.
His office is located in Southern California where he divides his time amongst private practice, teaching, writing and playing tennis.
Mentioned in This Episode
The Big Book (AA)
The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (AA)
Earnie Larsen and Stage 2 Recovery
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Reliable resources for learning more about addiction and finding help for yourself, a friend, or a family member.
SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association
SMART Recovery Family and Friends
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Network of Independent Interventionists