Monday, December 27, 2010

Celebrity Rehab Portrays Addiction as a Family Disease: What do you think?

This past week on Celebrity Rehab, the theme was what addiction does to parents and children. We saw a very interesting dynamic between Frankie Lons, the addicted mother of seven children, and Rachel Uchitel, the daughter of an addict who died of an overdose when she was 15. Each struggled to help the other understand her point of view. During one group therapy session, Rachel very poignantly said to Frankie, “I am your child.”
            Because addiction has a genetic component, addicts are very often the children of addicts. The pain and shame and neglect they experienced as children is often what drives them to their own addiction. They have children who grow up the same way, and addiction then becomes an endless cycle in that family.
            It is very, very difficult to see a parent as a person separate from yourself and the effects they had on you. When you think of an addicted parent, likely all you see are your own needs that were not fulfilled. You can’t see what that parent’s life was like, what set them on the path to addiction, the pain and regret they may have for what they put you through. And if you can’t see your parent as a separate individual, you can’t have compassion for that parent.
            What does it matter? Why have compassion for someone who caused you so much pain? Because that pain keeps hurting and hurting you—even if your parent is long dead, as Rachel’s father is. The only way to end that pain is to have so much compassion that you can no longer be angry. Then you can let the pain go; then the pain your parent caused you won’t keep wounding you every day.
            This is why compassion and forgiveness are such important pars of the Law of Sobriety. And, as we saw on Celebrity Rehab, compassion for those who have hurt us seems to flow from a kind of disconnecting. It’s something that might seem to be the opposite of what you’d expect. 

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach on Celebrity Rehab 4 on VH1 and author of "The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery".  Contact Sherry at to learn about her psychotherapy practice, life/recovery coaching, teleseminars, workshops, speaking engagements, and conference.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Welcome to my new Blog "Attracting Positive Energy for a Purposeful Recovery"

Welcome friends to my new blog in “It’s all in the Journey.”  I am so grateful to be a part of something so powerful and inspirational.  The inspiration whereby this web site and magazine was incubated from is a beautiful story of love, loss, and healing.  There is nothing more powerful than using our pain to deepen our potential for being the highest self we can be with God’s grace.

For those of you who don’t me, I am the author of “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery.”  I am also the Psychotherapist and Recovery/Life Coach on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinsky on VH1.  My  book  not only supports the 12 steps, but is the first book of its kind that takes the Law of Attraction (similar to the movie “The Secret”), and applies it to recovering from your addiction.  Although the book was inspired by the many addicts and alcoholics I have had the privilege to work with, the message can be used for other addictions, as well, such as gambling, sex and love addictions, co-dependency, shopping, food addictions, internet addictions, and other self-defeating habit you are struggling with.  The book also take on a purposeful approach helping those in recovery find meaning and purpose in their lives.

 My belief is not only do we need a higher power of our own understanding, but we need to live our life true to our calling.  A great quote from John Newport PhD writes, “I believe the royal road to longevity lies in living in attunement with our unique sense of purpose for being on this planet”.  I believe that without living your true essence or passion, a relapse is right around the corner.  Your purpose can come in all shapes and sizes, and I hope this blog in some small way can contribute to helping you find the size and shape that suits you.  My purpose is to help other’s heal through my life’s work spreading the message that you are here on this planet for a reason.  My desire is that you find what it is that makes your heart sing, and that you reach your greatest dreams and desires while living a life that is purposeful and meaningful. 

My desire is to write blogs of hope and healing, and I look forward to hearing from my readers your thoughts about anything and everything related to this blog and/or recovery. 
I wish all of you a very Happy and Healthy Holiday and New Year.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Recovery/Life Coach on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew PInsky on VH1, and the author of “The Law of Sobriety”. Contact Sherry at to learn more about her private practice, Psychotherapy, and Recovery/Life Coaching Programs she facilitates  all over the world.  Contact her also to learn more about her teleseminars, webinars, conferences, workshop, and speaking engagements.