Dr. Allen Berger

Talk Recovery Radio

This week on Talk Recovery Radio

Dr. Allen Berger joins us on Talk Recovery Radio to talk about his new book “12 Essential Insights for Emotional Sobriety: Getting Your Recovery Unstuck” as well as the rest of his books in his “12” series. 


Emotional Sobriety

About the book:

Some people get sober but stay stuck. Even after the addictive substances or behaviors recede into our pasts, many of us still suffer. Renowned recovery expert Dr. Allen Berger helps us learn to experience, respect, and modulate our emotional reactions to achieve true serenity and peace of mind.

Sobriety can be the foundation for growth, but only if we are willing to explore what lies beyond the basics of physical sobriety. The quality of our ongoing recovery will be determined by how we learn to respond to the problems or challenges in our lives—even the basic emotional discomforts and dislocations that arise day-to-day.

Developed to help those in recovery find continuing success, 12 Essential Insights for Emotional Sobriety gives us a framework for understanding successive stages of recovery, as well as a guide toward emotional maturity, authentic humility, and deep joy in living. Rooted in the insights and vision of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, this book is also informed by the author’s scientific wisdom, personal experience, and decades of clinical treatment of addiction. 12 Essential Insights gives us a fresh take on mature sobriety.

Emotional Sobriety is described as real balance and maturity in our life, which is to say humility in relationship to ourselves. Humility is which is defined from the American Psychological Association says it is a low focus on self. Dr. Berger says one thing that happens when it comes to emotional sobriety is that you learn to not take things personally and you quit making things about you. That is such an integral part of emotional sobriety. Another definition of emotional sobriety is an appropriate estimate, not an over or underestimate of ones worth as well as one of the most important terms of emotional sobriety is an acknowledgement of our mistakes, of our limitations, of our gaps in knowledge and of our ignorance.

Dr. Berger says he has been in recovery since 1971, has attended thousands of 12 step support meetings and has worked the steps in his life for many years and has never heard the term emotional sobriety in a meeting. Dr. Berger says that the purpose of the program of AA is to first achieve physical sobriety, it is a paradoxical intervention. As soon as someone says they are powerless the paradox is that the person starts to find power, as soon as someone says they are a liar, they start to become honest and it is that paradox, it is the start of the program that allows us to achieve physical sobriety.  As someone goes on in the program of AA all the steps help someone achieve emotional sobriety.

Giuseppe mentions that throughout the whole conversation about emotional sobriety and recovery alcohol and drugs has not come up once. Some people may think all the show is about is drugs and alcohol but really it is about the whole of recovery and building that ability to live life and drugs and alcohol just disappear from the equation.


Allen Berger, PhD

About the Author:

Allen Berger, PhD, a popular public speaker and nationally recognized expert on the science of recovery, is the author of 12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, 12 More Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone, 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends and Love Secrets Revealed: What Happy Couples Know About Having Great Sex, Deep Intimacy, and a Lasting Connection. His pamphlet, “How to Get the Most Out of Group Therapy,” helps clients in treatment, continuing care, or Twelve Step groups, understand what happens in group meetings and how these meetings help members acquire recovery skills. Dr. Berger lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Talk Recovery airs live every Thursday at noon on 100.5 FM, Vancouver Coop Radio. The Last Door produces this weekly radio show discussing the many pathways to addiction recovery. To end stigma we must continue to talk about recovery. Talk Recovery is in its 7th Season, Hundreds of guests, thousands of listeners, thank you. Show ideas? Email community@lastdoor.org

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