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Dr. Tian Dayton
Dr. Tian Dayton is the author of The ACoA Trauma Syndrome, How Childhood Pain Impacts Adult Relationships, Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma to Resilience and Balance and twelve other books and numerous articles. She has been a national speaker for twenty years doing keynotes on a variety of subjects related to addiction, psychology and psychodrama. Her work in psychodrama has been featured on film, TV and documentaries. She is the director of The New York Psychodrama Training Institute. For more information on Dr. Dayton log onto

Dr. Tian Dayton, has a doctorate in clinical psychology, an M.A. in educational psychology, and is a fellow and "Scholar's Award" recipient from the American Society of Psychodrama, Sociometery, and Group Psychotherapy as well as the Mona Mansell Award and the Ackerman/Black Award for contributions to the addictions field.She taught psychodrama at NYU for eight years and is a regular guest expert on TV and radio appearing on MSNBC, CNN, CBS, John Walsh, Ricki Lake, Montel and Geraldo.

Entries by Dr. Tian Dayton

It's Alcohol Awareness Month: So What Does It Do to Your Insides to Live With an Alcoholic?

(3) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 4:40 PM

April is "Alcohol Awareness Month." On the surface this appears to be about alcohol, its use and abuse, it implies that we need to learn more about why a person might drink alcoholically or, by extension use other substances to their detriment. But there is a much larger story here....

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Pee-wee's Big Holiday

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 12:44 AM

Pee-wee Herman calls to the playful child in all of us, the young and adventurous kid who will always have one foot in never-never land. Paul Reubens rules as the personification of the idea that we all see the world in our own zany, idiosyncratic way, held together by that...

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When Growing Up Hurts: How Parental Addiction Impacts Kids

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 1:10 PM

Who we are speaks louder than what we say. Our facial and body language, the quality of our touch and the emotion and intent emanating from our expressions communicate more to the small child than words ever could. Expressions, sounds, and gestures, according to Stanley Greenspan (1999)--author of Building Healthy...

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The Invisible Children: It's COA Awareness Week So Listen Up, This Matters

(1) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 9:41 AM

Great strides have been made in bringing the shame of addiction out of the shadows and getting America and the world to believe in recovery. However, the biggest, little secret remains the countless kids who are being hurt each and every day who don't get talked about, funded, donated to...

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Daily Affirmations for the Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 10:59 AM

There Is Music in the Air

There is music in the air. There is joy in the streets. There is a lilt in people's steps. Even through the exhaustion, the over doing it and the gift giving mania, people are still reaching out to each other in little and...

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Daily Affirmations for the Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 2:35 PM

The Spaces in Between

Some of my happiest holiday moments aren't necessarily the big events or the parties or even the holiday itself. They are the spaces in between. Walking down a decorated street hearing holiday music wafting on the air, a lit outdoor Christmas tree that I didn't...

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When Adult Children of Alcoholics Become Moms

(1) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 9:07 AM

Growing up with addiction is often traumatizing and can lead to post traumatic stress. If PTSD related issues remain unresolved, they can become a hot button in parenting. Even though the alcohol or drugs are no longer there, the thinking, feeling and behavior can remain. September is "Recovery Month." Sis...

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Creating Community One Vegetable at a Time: Farmer's Markets Are Becoming a Way of Life All Over New York

(2) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 6:04 PM

Farmers market's are creating outlets for the organic farms that are fueling the "farm to table" movement of the past decade. Local residents anywhere from the upper West Side, to Brooklyn to Upstate New York, can be seen at these pop-up markets, strolling around with their families, collecting the local...

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The Making of The Who: A Tale of Mod Cool, Drugs, Addiction and Recovery

(9) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 12:40 AM

I was recently blown away by a fascinating documentary, to be released by Sony on April 3rd, revealing the brilliance and daring of the two young men -- Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert -- who discovered The Who and brought, dragged, finessed and nurtured them onto world stage.

This is...

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Adult Children of Alcoholics and Trauma

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 4:05 PM

PTSD is a much-talked-about-syndrome these days. Soldiers who experience battle muster psychological defenses to get through. However, when they return home the pain that they couldn't allow themselves to feel then comes crashing in on them weeks, months or even years after the fact. The pain gets triggered by some...

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New York: The City That Gives Birth to Artists

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 1:22 PM

Last week, I had that experience of being immersed in art that is so much a part of living in New York City, that sense of pleasure and privilege at being a part of something that you know adds beauty to the world. A group of sophisticated New Yorkers were...

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Mindfulness: Using the Holidays as a Healing Moment

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 5:07 PM

Welcome to the holiday season, with all of its joys and pleasures! If ever there were a moment when memories and feelings are heightened, this is one.

Holidays have the elusive power to reach into our treasure box of memories. Each song, scent or sight triggers a quiet rush of...

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Mother Love: Molding Our Capacity for Intimacy

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Mother love, the kind that sinks deep into your mind, body and heart and shapes forever your ability to live comfortably in your own skin, is a gift that lasts for a lifetime; a legacy that passes down through the generations. Neuroscience tells us that love is a full brain...

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The Gift My Parents Gave Me After They Divorced

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 12:26 PM

My parents divorced when I was 15 years old. It was scarring, one of the most painful periods of my life, but as I look back, I see that it was the best thing for them and ultimately, for me as well. I have now been married for 38 years,...

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The Importance of Modeling the Behavior You Want to See

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 4:28 PM

I work in the field of addictions. Most of the addicts I treat report having discovered alcohol or drugs at a very young age, 11 or 12. Teenage years aren't easy, but when a teenager discovers that alcohol or drugs take the edge off their anxiety, gives them that little...

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A Child Near You May Need Your Kindness: Living With the Drama of Addiction

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 1:12 PM

Feb. 9-15 is National Children of Alcoholics (COA) Week

When you live with parental addiction, a little kindness, can go a long way. When you are sad, or lonely or feeling unwanted, the smallest gesture from someone who sees you can change the course of your day, it can strengthen...

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100 Million Bill Pulls Mental Health Out of the Shadows

(2) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:01 PM

Long ignored and misunderstood as a driver of billions of dollars in lost revenue and absenteeism among workers, mental health and addiction may, because of efforts over the past few years, finally be seen as real rather than imagined issues. It has been generally true that illnesses to the body...

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Using Drugs to Belong, Drinking to Manage Depression: Chiara de Blasio Tells Her Story of Substance Abuse

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 12:25 PM

Nearly a million people have watched Chiara de Blasio describe her journey of recovery on YouTube since the video was released over the holidays last month. Chiara wanted to speak out to help all those who are suffering in silence.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 3.1 million Americans need treatment for a substance-abuse problem.

Chiara sounds like so many young people who struggle with belonging, or who hide feelings of depression or anxiety. Chiara has used pot and alcohol to manage emotional pain that she didn't know what else to do with. Her parents care, and so do so many parents. But alcohol and drugs are out there, easy to get, and they do the job. They make uncomfortable feelings that threaten to become overwhelming just sort of go away. They make sliding into a group feel smoother. When you feel insecure, they shore you up, at least for a while. They provide a sense of closeness, albeit a drug-induced one, that takes away that sense of separateness that we all carry somewhere inside. They drug you. They are a synthetic solution to a very human problem. And they work. But not for long. Eventually the solution becomes a problem that eats away at the infrastructure of your life as you feel yourself slowly slipping away from "normal," slowly becoming someone you no longer recognize as you.

"Every kid who grows up in New York grows up pretty fast," Chiara says in the video. "It's astonishing." She continues, "I've had depression, clinical depression, for my entire adolescence. ... [Drinking and doing drugs] made it easier." She goes on to describe how pot and alcohol gave her a sense of being a part of something, how they helped with her insecurity at college, being so far from what was familiar. "It didn't start out as a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing for me," she says. "When I went away to college, I didn't really do the proper mental and emotional work to prepare myself. I kind of just thought that all my problems would go away if I just got on a plane and flew 3,000 miles."

In describing how drug and alcohol use kept creeping into her life, she says, "I kind of just kept reasoning, using this really fake rationale that was so justified to me...." She'd decide to just smoke pot, or to just drink, which, at the time, made complete sense to her as a way to manage her use and eventual abuse of drugs and alcohol. She didn't know that she was slowly losing her grip on reality, that she was becoming another person, that drugs and alcohol were taking over her life, that her solution to make pain go away was just creating more pain.

She was one of the lucky ones. Her therapist made the right call, realizing that she needed to get sober in order to get better, and she referred her to an outpatient treatment program in New York City. Chiara says, "I was looking for an institutional, group-therapy sort of thing where I could just work with other people around my age on these issues of depression and anxiety that I was facing." She adds, "Removing substances from my life has opened so many doors for me. ... Now I'm doing well in school and actually getting to explore things that aren't just partying."

Chiara says, "I think it's just important for people to realize, anybody who's watching this, that if you're suffering, and if you're depressed or dealing with mental illness, and you think that it might have something to do with your drug abuse or drinking, or if you're just suffering from both of those at the same time and you think that they're completely unrelated to one another, that getting sober is always a positive thing. And it's not easy. By no means is it easy. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. But it's so worth it."

In Chiara's words, wise beyond her years, "Nobody can do sobriety on their own. You really just have to keep on relying on those that have been there, finding people that have gone through it, being honest, open, and willing...." And if you are willing to tap into the collective wisdom of those millions who have gone before you and found sobriety, she says, "you will see the most immense change that you've ever seen...

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An Attitude of Gratitude: What This One Little Emotion Can Do for Your Life

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 10:55 AM

It's the holiday season, and everyone talks about being grateful. For those among us who find it easy to feel grateful, here's research to back up your natural inclination. For anyone who might need a little prodding, just keep reading, you may decide that gratitude isn't just a word, but...

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How Modern Lifestyles Activate Ancient Stress Responses

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 10:10 AM

Do you feel fried, get easily irritated, or sink into negative states of mind faster than you used to? Do you want to collapse and cocoon at the end of the week? If so, consider what might be going on with your stress level that might be affecting your mood....

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