Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone:



12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: 
Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and 
Right Action

Whether it's called 'dry drunk' or 'white knuckle sobriety,' it's that stage in recovery when we realize that 'putting the plug in the jug' isn't enough. 

The next step is taking responsibility for the emotional immaturity that fuels our addictive personality and has a tremendous impact on ourselves and others.

In 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone, Allen Berger, Ph.D., draws on the teachings of Bill W. and psychotherapy pioneers to offer twelve hallmarks of emotional sobriety that, when practiced, give people the confidence to be accountable for their behavior, ask for what they want and need, and grow and develop a deeper trust in the process of life. 

These 'smart things' include:

- Understanding who you are and what's important to you
- Learning not to take others' reactions personally
- Trusting your own inner compass
- Taking responsibility for your reactions to problematic situations

It is in these practices that we find release from what Bill W. described as an 'absolute dependency' on people or circumstances, and develop the tools to find prestige, security, and belonging within.

12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and Right Action PDF Details:
Amazon Sales Rank: #18092 in Books
Published on: 2010-07-08
Released on: 2010-07-12
Original language: English
192 pages


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Customer Review:

Most helpful customer reviewsAn Engaging Self-help book packed with
useful wisdom

By Judith S. Mishkin

This self-help book was engaging and packed with very useful wisdom for the audience for which it is intended. My copy is heavily highlighted and my little sticky notes makes the pages look like a fringed carpet. Dr. Berger uses his AA background and the 12 steps to help the reader learn about emotional sobriety.

His first chapter, Smart Thing 1: Know yourself--and How to Stay Centered sets the stage for a person's personal growth. He "help(s) us build up the courage and motivation to change the things we can. "

In the book, Dr. Berger uses quotations and ideas from the great pioneers of family therapy, such as Victor Frankl and Abraham Maslow.

Here are some examples and how Dr. Berger uses the material. From the ideas of Augustus Napier, PhD. and Carl Whitaker MD (page 139), Dr. Berger says "This means we choose a partner...to take the next step in our personal development."

He quotes Virginia Satir (page 156), "The problem is not the problem. The problem is coping (1972).

From Dr. Nathaniel Branden's sign "No one is coming", Dr. Berger says, and I paraphrase: "No one is coming to rescue (us) from their fate. It is up to (us)."

From a personal communication with Dr. Kempler, he quotes on page 52, "In order to get more personal, you have to stop taking the other person's behavior personally." (1982)

From "A psychological technique called neurolinguistic programming," (page 116), Dr. Berger talks about

1. Change our focus,

2. Change our language (What we say to ourselves) and

3. Change our physiology (Try smiling)."


Dr. Berger has only one exercise, "The Emotional Sobriety Inventory Form," which he asks the reader to fill out near the beginning of the book and again at the end. It is the only exercise I have ever done since I left school! The book is definitely worth reading.

Judith Mishkin, Marriage and Family Counselor, retired.

I am not one to write reviews, but I felt compelled to do so here. Dr. Berger has hit the nail right on the head with this book!!! I have just celebrated 1 year of sobriety, and have begun incorporating numerous aspects of his book into my life--understanding who I am and what is important to me. I have given this book as a gift to a countless number of friends and family both in 12 step recovery and not. In my opinion, 12 Smart Things holds gifts that can benefit ANYONE'S emotional sobriety.


By D. Cella

Clear, concise, simple guidelines that are easy to remember and incorporate into everyday routines. This is Berger's second book and I love this book as much as the first one. He breaks down how to achieve emotional sobriety into short and easy points to use everyday.



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