I’m a natural born ‘relater’ off the streets of Brooklyn, ready to talk to anyone about anything any time.
For as long as I can remember – how I know myself to be – I was always keeping my eye on the people and relationships around me. I was aware, and aware that I was aware, of how differently I felt when the people around me were connecting, feeling close and understanding each other versus when I was picking up on tension, distance, disconnection and the lack of understanding that seemed to prevail. What a show my life was! I was in the audience and I was on stage.
Preserving my sanity and stability when there were so many dysfunctional people and relationships around me had always, and still does, pose huge creative and spiritual challenges. How did I stay preserve my sanity amidst all the craziness? And where did my knack for relationships come from?
Looking back, there is no doubt blessed by a stable, loving family growing up was huge factor; if, for nothing else, it provided me a healthy point of reference and relatively healthy role models. But what I believe made an even bigger difference was an internally based mooring, I call my Self and my uncanny ability to develop a relationship with my Self.
Relationships are my strongest suit - what I know the most about, am most interested in, at my clinical best, and wrote the most about. I also bring a lifetime of experience creating strong, nourishing intimate relationships I’ve spent many years analyzing what I doing, how was I communicating that made my relationships work, and have dedicated my life to sharing the lessons I’ve learned to empower others.
After relationships, addiction and recovery are what I know the next most about, have thirty plus years of my own, personal experience from porn addiction and compulsive gambling, as well as thirty plus years of professional experience treating addiction and working with those in recovery.
I know what it is like to be addicted and gained an understanding of how why I got addicted, what was driving my addiction. I have the experience if being in the throes of addiction, how I behaved, how consumed and out of control I was. I also feel that I have been on a lifelong path of recovery, and that the quality of my relationships, with my Self as well as with Others always were, and still are front and center of my consciousness.
What did I glean from decades working with addicts and relationship? No one seemed to know what they were doing, and lacked proficiency in the arts of relating and connecting. That the primary root-cause for the breakdown and devolution of primary, past and current relationships is - the lack of knowhow. I identified a glaring need and deemed myself to be the one to fill it.
I believe that regardless of whatever you’ve been through in your life, whether trauma, addiction, instability, anxiety or depression, or lack of healthy role models, or know only of a merry-go-round of failed relationships, you can learn and become more proficient in essential communication skills. You do this and I can show you how.
This is my calling, my purpose, my dharma – to change the world by changing relationships one relationship or family at a time, and how we relate to one another, through relationship training. I want live in a world where there is more warmth, connection and love exchanged and felt in our relationships, whether personal, inner circle relationships, or when you meet anyone for the first time.
I describe by a unique moniker. I am a 'self and relationship-based' therapist, an addiction/recovery specialist and relationship trainer. My work is an amalgam of mindfulness-based principles and practices; cognitive-behavioral therapy, systems theory, existential, phenomenalogical, self and positive psychologies, and communication skills building. Everything I do is about getting you acquainted with your Self.
Daniel had developed a new paradigm for understanding addiction and recovery that humanizes addiction, focusing on the emotional, psychological and relational aspects of addiction- The Relationship Model of AddictionTM and The Three Stages of Recovery: I Breaking-up; II Developing the Relationship with Self and III Creating Emotionally Nourishing Relationships with Others (relationship training).
Daniel had developed intensive relationship-training workshops for dating singles that focuses on dating, relating and connecting. In 1993, he created Dating to Relate, the first and only dating therapy group of its kind, in which participants go on ‘practice dates’ with each other on their own and then to return to group for ‘post-date debriefings’ facilitating dialogues about their experience being together. He is now conducting workshops and webinars focusing on the first time you meet someone, as well as relationship training workshops for couples and families.
Dating to Relate led to the first book he wrote, Dating, A Guide to Creating Intimate Relationships (1995), which was followed by, To Relieve the Pain, Demystifying Addiction and Beyond Sobriety, Empowering the Transformation of Relationships (2004); then, Intimacy, The Essence of True Love (2007). His most recent book is, Humanizing Addiction, The Relationship Model of Addiction (2016), as well as numerous articles on addiction, recovery and relationships.
His RelationshipVision.com website offers an abundant amount of free, easily accessible, high value educational materials, e-books, webinars, courses; materials, available for purchase as well.
The Relationship Model of Addiction™ (TRMA™) A New Paradigm for Understanding Addiction and Recovery
My simplified vision of humanity is the basis for my understanding of addiction and recovery.
Us human beings have to basic needs, the need for love and the need to relieve pain. When in pain, we will need and act to relieve that pain. The greater the pain, the more of our lives will be spent trying to relieve it. The need to relieve pain is the underlying driving force of addiction.
Let’s get this straight. Addiction is not a disease. The essence of addiction is primarily emotional, psychological and relational in nature.
I define addiction as a relationship w/a means of relief of pain from unmet emotional needs, included is our needs for love and connection. The means of relief include drugs and alcohol, process addictions like sex and porn addiction, compulsive gambling, and addictions to people, as in the case of love addiction and co-dependency.
The spawning ground of addiction is the relationships that fail to provide adequate emotional nourishment that leaves a backlog of pain that needs to be relieved.
It naturally follows that if relationships that fail to provide the nourishment we need are the spawning ground of addiction, then relationships in which our need for love and connection get met may be the remedy.
Recovery is a lifelong transitional journey out of unhealthy, addictive, and non-nourishing relationships and into healthy emotionally nourishing relationships in which our need for love gets met.
The Three Stages of Recovery are: I Breaking-up (w/the means of relief); II Developing the Relationship w/Self; Creating Emotionally Nourishing Relationships (relationship training).