Recovery Issues

Therapy and the 12 steps by Marc Handelman, PhD

Twelve-step programs and psychotherapy are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they can reinforce each other and provide help for you as a whole person. While there is some overlap, and there are some differences between the two, the differences are not in conflict. In fact, they can provide synergy to promote your overall welfare spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically. Continue reading →

Addiction to Drugs and Alcohol: Self-hatred, cravings, and therapy by Marc Handelman, PhD

People who have suffered from alcohol or drug addiction have often suffered from feelings of self-loathing, self-contempt, and self-hatred.  They often come to view themselves with moral condemnation. These feelings are reinforced by society’s view of alcoholics and addicts. Addiction involves feelings of overwhelming cravings, and a feeling of desperation that may be hard to comprehend for those who are not addicted. Addicts may come to  experience their lives in terms survival which leads to upended priorities, placing the need for the substance above all other needs.… Continue reading →

Expect the unexpected: Living with alcoholics or dysfunctional families by Marc Handelman, PhD

Dysfunctional families teach you a lot: don’t tell; don’t have friends over; keep a close watch for signs of an explosion; try not to be noticed; be ready to fix everything. Life is chaotic, unpredictable, and violent. Many people need psychotherapy. Many people find comfort and support from self-help groups such as ACOA, Al-Anon, and CODA. Continue reading →

Psychotherapy and spirituality by Marc Handelman, PhD

Some people find spirituality helpful in conjunction with psychotherapy. Spirituality is not the same as religion. While it is imperative that a therapist never pushes his views and values on the person he is working with, it is also important that he avoids coming from a detached, overly analytic, purely “scientific” position. Some find mindfulness, adopted from Buddhist psychology, helpful. Continue reading →

Codependency: Being dependent on others’ dependency by Marc Handelman, PhD

There may not be a simple test, or a clear marker, but if you consistently put someone else’s needs first, to the detriment of your own, you may be codependent. What is the boundary around codependency and how do you work through it? Continue reading →


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Recovery Issues
Articles about recovery and psychotherapy, including 12-step programs, alcoholism, family dysfunction, drugs, trauma, spirituality, and codependency.