The Celebrity Therapist

Sudden, unexpected, horrific or repeated types of negative incidents in life can all lead to the development of trauma. Many people think of trauma as something that causes immediate changes in a person’s level of comfort, ability to feel safe, and constant feelings of fear or anxiety in specific situations or locations.

All of these can be true, but trauma and its effects are not all that easy to pinpoint. For some people, the effects of trauma may not occur for weeks after the event, and they may build gradually over time if the trauma is the chronic type of repeated stress such as living in a chaotic or unsafe environment or dealing with bullying or abuse.

Besides the obvious reactions to fear, stress and atypical negative events in life, it is also essential to be aware of three other lesser-known symptoms of trauma.

Mood Changes

One of the emotional symptoms of trauma can be sudden and unexplained mood changes. This may include becoming irritable and agitated in situations without provocation or without understanding why these emotions are suddenly present.

For many people, guilt often follows these mood swings or changes, particularly if they are directed towards a friend, family member or a loved one. This becomes an ongoing negative spiral of mood swings, guilt and even shame over behaviors and thoughts.

Feeling Overwhelmed

With chronic types of trauma such as bullying or feeling unsafe or in an unstable relationship where there is any type of abuse, feelings of being helpless, hopeless and overwhelmed are very common.

Trauma can block your ability to see options to move forward, rather it locks you into those negative emotions and creates the belief that isolating and withdrawal from contact with others is the way to deal with the problems.

Work or School Problems

One of the most overlooked symptoms of trauma is problems with concentration and focus. This results in problems at work or at school, all which can lead to increasing stress, low self-esteem, and concerns about the future.

If you notice any changes in behavior, physical health or mental health after a sudden traumatic event or experiencing trauma, seek help and support to start on the road to recovery.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse


stresssStress is a six letter word that is probably one of the most damaging words in the English language when it comes to recovery from an addition. This is true for the “hard” addictions like alcohol and drugs as well as for addictions like shopping, love, internet use and pornography. However, as I discuss in the book “The Law of Sobriety” stress is not something that you can eliminate completely from your life.

If you can’t eliminate stress then you have to have a way to deal with it. This way has to be easier and more automatic than turning back to the addiction. In addition you need to choose an alternate or replacement activity that is not an addictive behavior in itself. Unfortunately, that is what many people do. For example, a person that is recovering from an alcohol addiction may find that when they are stressed they smoke more, eat more or go online and play poker. This is not a healthy way to deal with stress since you are really just substituting one problem behavior for another.

Having a plan to come up with stress is the best option. This plan needs to include three basic components. These components include:

1,     Whowho can you talk to when you being to feel stressed that can help you to avoid turning to the addictive behavior. This could be a sponsor, coach, friend or family member but it has to be someone that is sober, supportive and available.

2.     Whatwhat is the replacement behavior that you are going to use. This behavior needs to be healthy, effective and easy to do regardless of where you may be. Deep breathing is a good stress relief option no matter where you may be. Swimming 50 laps is much less practical.

  3.    How how does the replacement or alternate behavior make you feel? Does it reduce your stress and your cravings for the addictive behavior or substance? Not all stress reduction works for everyone so you need to customize your plan to meet your needs, not what someone else tells you will work.

An addiction recovery counselor, therapist or life coach can be helpful in developing a stress reduction plan. If you recognize that stress will occur in your life and map out a way to cope that is effective and successful your chances of falling back into the addictive behavior will be dramatically reduced.



Sherry Gaba, LCSW, a psychotherapist and life, love, and recovery coach, is featured on Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of  The Law of Sobriety, which uses the Law of Attraction to help people recover from addiction. Get your free meditation audio MP3 How to Attract Positive Energy  and to learn more about Wake Up Recovery  at    She is also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People and Conscious Entrepreneurs, and to several e-books: Empowerment Manual: Finding Purpose With Intention, Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction. The e-books Relapse Prevention and Eliminate Limiting Beliefs can be downloaded free of charge at Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages, and speaking engagements.

I have a client who’s a shy but talented girl. She loves music, and decided to join the band in her high school. She learned how to play the xylophone, and really enjoys herself when she plays at band practice. But when I saw her, she had a concert coming up and she was so nervous that she was thinking of dropping out of the band.

I asked her what she was so afraid of and she said, “I’m afraid I’ll make mistake while I’m playing.” That’s a fear we all have, isn’t it? We’re afraid we’ll make a mistake—especially when others are watching. Fear of making a mistake can keep us from even starting something new. Our fear ends up defeating us before we even begin.

But my client loves to play music, and I didn’t want her fear to push her into giving it up. So I asked her a simple question: “If you do make a mistake, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

She thought about this for a moment, and said her fellow band members or someone in the audience might notice and say something to her about it. “And if they did, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” I pressed her.

“I’d be embarrassed,” she said.

“And if you were embarrassed, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

This time, she shrugged. “I’d be embarrassed.” It didn’t sound so scary when she said it this time. “Nobody would yell at you or hit you, people in the audience wouldn’t throw things at you, you wouldn’t be kicked out of band?”

“No,” she admitted. Okay, we all sometimes think we’d die of embarrassment, but that’s just something people say; nobody actually dies of embarrassment. We just feel it and then move on. My client realized it certainly wasn’t worth giving up something she loves just to avoid feeling embarrassed for a moment.

How many times do we let fear hold us back from trying something new? When we’re afraid, we create giant monsters in our mind—terrible consequences if we fail. But when we stop to really examine these monsters, we see that they’re just annoying little mosquitoes we can swat with ease. “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” By asking yourself this simple question, you can break the hold fear has over you and free yourself from the inaction it causes.

“I want to try sushi, but I’m afraid I won’t like it.” If you don’t like it, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You’d have to order something else and pay for both dishes, so you’d be out a few dollars.

“I want to apply for that job, but I’m afraid I’m not qualified.” If you apply and the hiring company decides you aren’t qualified, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You won’t get the job. But you don’t have the job now, so you’d be no worse off than you were before.

“I want to ask that woman for a date, but I’m afraid she’d say no.” If you ask her and she says no, what’s the worst thing that could happen? She might tell her friends you asked her out and she turned you down. You might be embarrassed by that. And if you were embarrassed, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You’d be embarrassed and her friends would know you asked her out. What’s the worst thing that could happen as a result? Not much.

The best way to break through your fear is to examine it coolly and ask yourself if it’s based in reality. When you do that, what’s the worst thing that could happen?




Four years ago when my book, “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” came out I knew there had to be ways to get my message out besides the book so I did speaking engagements, tele-conferences, workshops, television and radio interviews; but something was still missing.  I knew there was more to these concepts then what I shared four years ago.  I knew this because I began to study on my own these concepts in depth and what I learned was nothing short of amazing.

So what did I learn on this journey about the law of attraction or why purpose in the lives of my clients and my life was so vital to feeling alive?  What I learned first and foremost was I was asleep.  That’s right. After a painful divorce from an alcoholic, I realized I lost track of who was I was and what I truly desired.  I was un-conscious and living a life on auto-pilot.   I was so focused for so many years on saving my husband, I lost me.  I had to do some real digging to get myself out of this hole so I could  wake up from this sleepy state;  and that is when I began to study what the laws of the universe really meant.    I was willing to do whatever it took to  bring joy back into my life.   I signed up for classes, tele-summits, courses,  and coaching programs with some of the greatest masters of our time such as Bob Proctor and Mary Morrissey.  This experience really resonated with the saying, “When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears.”  Everything was unfolding perfectly……People, places, and things were showing up in miraculous ways.

One of the things I learned was we  are all  so much more than what we see in front of us.  That’s right.  There are invisible laws that are working in our lives that perhaps you can’t touch, see, or hear but they are there.   When you feel loss, let down, or not where you think you should be in your life, the Universe does have your back.  I know this because once I became conscious again, let go of the pain from the past, and put myself in the mindset of action, amazing things began to happen in my life and that is when Wake Up Recovery was born.  After deepening the dive into learning what all this meant, an invisible power came over me and through me (I like to call it infinite energy) which  allowed me to  wrote this program; and this is what I want to share with you.

Next week please join me for my free preview call, “Out of the Box Recovery”.   I would be  so honored to have you join me on this journey.

You will discover why there are so many  alternative ways to reach the same goals in your life, your client’s lives,  and  your recovery process, whether it is from substance abuse, food addictions co-dependency, love addiction, or any other behavior that is keeping you from living fully and awake.

You will learn powerful and practical tools you can incorporate into your life right away or use with your clients immediately.

You will learn processes for a new approach to expand into a new generation looking for purpose that you can use in your life today or to serve your clients more deeply.

This live training will take place on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/6 pm MT/5 pm PT. You will receive a recording if you cannot make the call live.   Sign up here:

I look forward to taking you on this transformational journey of   aliveness, wakefulness, purposefulness, and creating your greatest dreams as I have….


Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Transformational and Recovery Coach.  She is the author of “The Law of the Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” and the creator of wake up recovery.  She is the go to expert on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Pinsky and media expert on CNN, HLN, Showbiz Tonight, The Bio Channel, Inside Edition, and E!News.   Go to and get your free audio mediation download and/or  sign up here for her free preview Out of the Box Recovery call.

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