Kick Fear Out of the Driver’s Seat

For as long as I can remember, fear ran my life. As a child, I let fear stop me from making friends, getting outside of my comfort zone and raising my hand when I had a question in school. I let fear keep me from standing up for myself, even when I knew it was the right thing to do. I let fear keep me from trying a new hobby that I was secretly interested in or even applying for a job that I wanted. I let fear consume my life. My life was no longer based on what “Lisa wanted”, but instead it was a life based on what I thought others expected of me. Needless to say, it was exhausting.

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Switch Your Fix: Substituting New Vices for Old Ones

When I first made the decision to give up alcohol and other substances, I was not aware at the time that I am a creature of habit, someone with an extremely addictive personality. Having thought of myself as a “normal” person apart from the excessive drinking and drug use, I truly believed my alcoholism was simply that – an addiction to alcohol and drugs.

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Veterans Day: Honoring All Who Served

I grew up learning the meaning of this day from my parents and school teachers. It’s a day that my wife and I now teach our children about. We explain the importance of thanking those who served in our military and why we honor the men and women who made incredible sacrifices in order to fight for our country and freedom, all while leaving their own families to protect ours.

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High Holiday Transformations: A Therapist’s Reflections

The Jewish New Year, or “High Holidays” is a period uniquely designated for reflection and spiritual renewal. In just a few days, individuals in Jewish communities across the globe will come together for a day of prayer and self-examination.

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The Insanity of a Family Disease

During my twenty-five year career in substance abuse treatment, I’ve frequently heard family members (and clients) insist that “Alcohol isn’t his/her/my problem – drugs are!” and “Alcoholism isn’t his/her/my problem – addiction is!” as if the same principles of recovery from chemical dependency don’t apply to any dysfunctional situation where alcohol either isn’t present or isn’t present enough to be identified as the primary drug-of-choice.

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Living Active Recovery

Why do people relapse after leaving treatment?

Throughout my years as a substance use disorder recovery activist and interventionist, I’ve helped scores of people enter treatment. And while these folks flourished in a highly-structured setting,

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From Train Wreck to Transformations Tech

Picture this… July 26th, 2017. Humid, sunny, and hot.  A girl, 5 ft. 4in., 107 lbs., wearing a hat, sweatpants, a sweatshirt, slippers, and wrapped in a blanket… shivering. She was smoking a cigarette and her mom came outside and handed her the

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I Drink Because I Like It

As an interventionalist, I frequently talk to those facing alcohol and substance abuse disorder. Recently I sat with a young man I’ll call Justin, who said something like this to me:

“I am not addicted to anything except fun. I drink because I

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We Are Both Victims and Victimizers

By: Jonathan Rios  M.S.  LMHC, Licensed Psychotherapist

We’ve all been victimized. This is a popular notion these days and it makes total sense. When we identify as an oppressed person who has undergone a tragedy or hardship it will often brin

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Response and Updates for Clients, Families, and Referents Read More