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A psychotherapist diagnoses Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab, Season 3

Does the Vh1 reality series do anything for un-famous addicts, or is it just voyeurism?

The cast of Celeb Rehab 3

BY DAVID RICKEY — One only has to watch the intake interviews for Celebrity Rehab, the reality show on the VH1 cable channel hosted by Pasadena-based Dr. Drew Pinsky, to see that cast members like Dennis Rodman, Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss have more issues going on than just addiction, either to drugs and alcohol, or certain patterns of behavior. (Exhibit: country singer Cindy McCready, who was addicted to an abusive boyfriend).

This points, then, to the major drawback of Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab — and rehab in general.

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Eyes wide shut: the anatomy of addiction

An addiction therapist’s mantra: Owning the compulsions in our lives is Step 1

BY MARY COOK, M.A., R.A.S. — Only a holistic approach can offer significant improvement, because we have been damaged and have damaged ourselves in all of these areas.

While not blaming ourselves, it’s important to recognize the choices that inhibit healing.

We did not create safety for ourselves, but instead romanticized and rationalized harm.

We did not demonstrate reverence for life, but  instead damaged, by abuse or neglect, all that was precious and dear to us.

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Spiritual Surf: Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen, Pope Benedict, Ashoura, North Korea

End of 2009 bash fest affects “pretentious prancer” Lady Gaga, rock ‘em sock ‘em Charlie, the Pope and even Kim Jon II

Fred Phelps not gaga over Gaga

According to Reverend Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, Lady Gaga has a “whore’s forehead” and is destined for Hell.  Are we to believe the “Reverend” whose congregation is known for protesting at the funerals of American soliders who have died in battle, insinuating that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is what is killing them and not conventional weapons?  Apparently Lady Gaga’s huge gay following and support of the gay community is making Phelps nervous, if not overflowing with hatred.


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Spiritual Surf: Trainspotting, addiction, and Soul’s Code movie picks

In Great Britain, the disaffected, heroin-addicted young men immortalized in Irvine Welsh’s seminal novel, Trainspotting, are now middle-aged. And, it emerged this week, they are dying before their time. (The Guardian)


The high cost of cocaine: For “Clare Shaw . . .  her career, her friends, her husband and even her daughter”.  (UK Daily Mail)


Primed for addiction: A new Northwestern University study smokes out temptation (New Scientist)

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What’s the difference between the stock market and a drunk?

What’s the difference between the stock market and a drunk?

Sorry, no punch line. But the similarities are striking

BY JOHN S.  — As I’ve been watching “live” coverage of the brutal second-by-second collapse of the stock market — broken only by occasional reprieves — I have found myself thinking that I was witnessing a surreal representation of a drunk spiraling to his demise.

Cable TV’s cheerleader of capitalism, CNBC, plasters banners across the screen constantly: “When will we reach a bottom?” . . . “Is the bottom near?” . . . “Still no clear bottom.” The flashing numbers are bright red, the graphical charts all diving towards the gutter — down 340 points one moment, down 780 the next.

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Living in fear: Recovery, redemption and realization

Part 4 of 4: My father jokes that I have a league of guardian angels

BY SUEANN JACKSON-LAND — There is, of course, a much more to my story than what I recounted in the first three parts of the Living in fear series published here. It’s taken me 43 years, four months and 16 days to get to Soul’s Code. Every time I thought I was ready to write “my” book, God changed the story. I wrote earlier today that I was concerned that readers might come away with the idea that the only thing I have to say as a human being is “my mom was mean and then she killed herself.” It is anything but that.

Tragedies will happen and people will let us down, that’s part of living. It’s what we do with it that matters. I don’t want to speak in bumper sticker theology or platitudes because it is different for every person within their own truth. I deeply and passionately believe in free will and that our perceptions can cripple us — or free us. I could have spent my life blaming my mother, blaming my father, and destroying myself.

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Addicted to the addict: The anatomy of codependence

The first in a seven-part SOUL’S CODE series about Codependence

Are you, or have you ever been, a codependent person?

co-de-pend-ent [koh-di-pen-duhnt] – adjective

1. of or pertaining to a relationship in which one person is physically or psychologically addicted, as to alcohol or gambling, and the other person is psychologically dependent on the first in an unhealthy way.

BY DAVID RICKEY and PAUL KAIHLA That’s the standard dictionary, or in this case Wikipedia, definition. Take out the argot about addiction, and codependency can be summed up with this plain phrase: a mutually-parasitic bonding.

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The Parent Trap: Setting the stage for codependence

Part 2 of 7 in a Soul’s Code series about codependence

BY DAVID RICKEY and PAUL KAIHLA — In the Disney movie, The Parent Trap, a pre-tabloid child star named Lindsay Lohan manipulates a reconciliation between her on-screen, estranged parents (played by Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson). Yes, it’s a romantic comedy. But this charming film is also a case study of how codependence can take root.

When we ask each other in the Starbucks line-up why Lindsay in real-life has so many addictions, affairs and abuses, it’s the same as asking: where does codependence come from?

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Prayer Wall: ‘Is my brother alive or dead? Is he in jail, or OK?

To this petition and appeal by Debby Dernberger of Menlo Park, CA, we add our prayers:

“I am in search of a long lost relative, my brother. His name is Michael Jay Dernberger and he was a vagrant and homeless alcoholic living on skid row in Washington State. It is tragic what happened to him, and he is not the only one. I just want to find my brother.

“Is he alive or dead? Is he in jail, or is he OK? No one has heard from him since 1990. By posting this, it would help get the word out.”

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The nexus of need: why Eliot Spitzer and Ashley Dupre met

You, me and (Spitzer’s) Dupree: Was Ashley Alexandra a victim?

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Alan Dershowitz, who was one of Eliot Spitzer’s law professors at Harvard, told CNN the day before the governor announced his resignation that the media and public were blowing this sex scandal way out of proportion — and that it constituted a “victimless crime”:

“Remember, the corruption (Spitzer) fought was mostly corruption with victims,” he said. “People who were corrupting Wall Street, violent crimes, organized crimes. This is the personification of a victimless crime — a 30-something-year-old prostitute making $5,000 an hour. That is not a victim.”

Well, now we know that Spitzer’s main sexcort was young enough to be his daughter: Ashley Alexandra Dupre, 22 was forced out of a “broken home” in New Jersey at 17 by abuse, then lived in five different states and suffered a drug addiction before landing a gig with a New York sex service.

Did the circumstances that the universe dealt Ashley, and the grey-matter she was born with upstairs, set her up for exploitation?

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