Monday, April 2, 2012

Emotional Sobriety by Tian Dayton

'Bringing our thinking, feeling and behavior into balance" ~Tian Dayton

"Neuroscience explains that emotions are experienced in the body and processed by “limbic systems”. The body, in fact, does not really know the difference between physical danger, like an oncoming car or emotional danger, like a drunk and raging parent. The limbic system will react either by pumping out enough stress chemicals, like adrenaline, to give the spurt of energy needed to flee for safety or stand and fight. 

"But what happens when the family itself becomes the proverbial saber toothed tiger? Children cannot flee, where would they go? They cannot fight, they would lose. So they shut down, they freeze, they flee on the inside. But without somehow processing what’s going on for them, that numbed and frozen pain can live within the self system, an emotional accident waiting to happen, in what is now called a post traumatic stress reaction. That is what being an ACOA (Adult Child of Trauma and Addition) is all about. Years after the stressor is removed, the ACOA lives as if it is still there. As if some emotional threat, lurks just around the corner." ~excerpted from a fantastic PDF article: Adult Children of Trauma and Addiction by Tian Dayton

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Dr. Tian Dayton is a clinical psychologist and psychodrama trainer, author of many books most recently Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma to Resilience and Balance (2008). She is the director of the New York Psychodrama Training Institute at Caron, New York. For additional information, she may be contacted by email at or by visiting