The Celebrity Therapist

A Recovery Coaching client of mine shared with me a definite opinion about Daniel Baldwin and Gary Busey from Celebrity Rehab “over – intellectualizing” their disease of addiction. She asked that I share this.  What do you think?

Celebrity Rehab 1 has
Daniel Baldwin in the first couple of episodes. I must admit, I was thrilled
when he decided to leave the center. Not because I wanted him to go out and
use, but because I simply couldn’t take him talking and sucking up airtime
anymore. His ego about the knowledge he possessed over the disease of addiction
and sobriety and recovery was enough to make me gag. In my opinion, he was a
clear case of over-intellectualizing the disease of addiction. He is not alone,
Gary Busey in Season 2 suffered from the same problem. Both Daniel and Gary
attended rehab to “help” the other people that had decided to give sobriety a
shot. Um, really? Because when I entered rehab years ago, I could barely help
myself, let alone embrace 12th step work.


Is thinking getting in the way of your recovery? You can
over think your disease by thinking about your disease in a clinical sense, a
biological sense and a psychological sense Learning about your disease is not a
bad thing, but thinking that you can out think your disease and “beat it” with
clinical understanding of the disease and the recovery program is just as
dangerous as not surrendering to your disease in the first place.


When an addict has enough solid clean time and has been
working the steps it is suggested that they help another addict by sponsoring
another addict. According to Bill W, the founder of AA, the only way to stay
sober is to interact and help another addict, this is the 12th step
of the program. Unfortunately, some individuals believe that they are ready to
do this far to early in recovery. Baldwin only had 9 months clean when he
re-entered rehab with the thought of using his fame to help other addicts. To
some, this would be to early to begin to 12th step work. When an
addict helps another addict, they have embraced the cycle of step work and they
have surrendered fully to their disease. Baldwin doesn’t appear to have done
this. He talks about his disease in a way that separates his disease from
himself personally. This is extremely dangerous.


Baldwin has strong claims of understanding the disease of
addiction without acknowledging his surrender to his disease of addiction. He
talks in circles about the threats in the center to his sobriety and his
feeling of discomfort show that he hasn’t dealt with his own centered and
selfish ways. It’s all him all the time, the Daniel Baldwin show, and I found
it exhausting. I, as an addict in recovery, did not see him as an example of
sobriety that I wanted to follow. In the program, addicts are told to find
someone who has what they have and do what they do. In my opinion, Baldwin had
a lot of work to do, mainly getting out of his own way.


I don’t begrudge Daniel Baldwin or Gary Busey, and I wish
them nothing other than peace of sobriety and recovery, and I am grateful that
they were prime examples of the ego of an addict. This is another example of
how Celebrity Rehab really shows all of the real aspects of the disease and the
personality flaws of the addicts.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Life and Recovery Coach.  She practices in Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Malibu, Calabasas, and Simi Valley.  She also life and recovery coaches all over the world.  She is the author of “The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery” and Recovery/Life Coach and Psychotherapist on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1.  Contact Sherry at to learn more about her recover/life coaching, psychotherapist, conferences, workshops, speaking engagements, teleseminars, and webinars.

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