The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


Breaking Free from an Abusive Relationship

Following are ten steps to take to break free from an exploitive, abusive, or toxic relationship.  While you may believe that your primary problem is the other person, let me emphasize, your primary prisoner is not another person, but rather, your belief system. Once you can get rid of faulty thinking and allow yourself to think differently, you can begin to heal.  Here are ten steps to take to begin your road to...


Am I in an Abusive, Narcissistic, or Borderline Relationship?

Answer the following questions and see how many you answer "yes" and how many you answer "no" to. The more yes answers, the more likely you are in an abusive , narcissistic, and/or borderline relationship.

My loved one calls me names, such as stupid or worthless, or other equally degrading terms.
My loved one mocks, belittles, or uses a patronizing tone of voice when addressing me.
This person often undermines my authority with...


Do Fathers Matter?

As I was conducting my research to discuss a topic close to my heart – fatherhood – I came across a scholarly article written to deconstruct the necessity of a father in a person’s life.  The premise of the article was to describe how “neoconservative social scientists claim that fathers are essential to positive child development.”

For one thing, I resent that those who believe that fathers matter are labeled with the pejorative, “neoconservative.” ...


Tools for Recovery: Gratitude

When trying to recover from an addiction - to a substance, a behavior, or from a toxic relationship, it is essential to develop some healthy habits in our lives necessary to replace the impulsive and compulsive ones we are trying to give up.  "Nature abhors a vacuum." That is, once we remove our addiction, something needs to take its place.  One way to heal an addictive lifestyle is to develop a new lifestyle.

Recovery requires...


Battling Boredom in Early Recovery

When an addict first begins sobriety he finds a sense of ennui set in fairly quickly, which feels overwhelmingly empty.  For many drug addicts and alcoholics in early sobriety everything comes to a standstill.  No longer are they chasing a high, strategizing a hustle, living in chronic chaos and drama, or experiencing the familiar euphoria created by both the behaviors and the drugs themselves.

The boredom that sets in for the addict is actually an...


Maturity: Practical Wisdom on being a Grown-Up

For a PDF version of this file, click here:  maturity

“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

So many adults live in an emotionally regressed state of mind or existence.  What, exactly, does it mean to be a mature adult?  Some believe it’s a number, an age; some may believe it requires a rite of passage.  Here is a list of general traits of those men and women who demonstrate maturity on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level:


Coping with Obsessive Thoughts

Obsessive, recurring thoughts usually indicate an anxiety condition.

Realize that just having recurring or obsessive thoughts - or any thoughts for that matter - does not mean that you must act on them.  Nonetheless, they are annoying at best.

Obsessive thoughts are embedded in an intricate system of feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Part of the obsession is attempting to stop the obsession by trying to figure out the thoughts and believing that they have power.  Obsessive thinking is akin to riding a merry-go-round: While other people jump on and off the playground equipment, you remain in a fixed position of inertia, going round and round.