Constructive Living* Eastern Philosophy Meets 12 Step Recovery


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and seeking help, please call 757-566-7332

Williamsburg Place Lecture Series

The Farley Center and The Pavilion host monthly professional workshops for area providers. These cutting edge presentations feature information on addiction, ethics, dual diagnosis, co-dependency, military and addiction, eating disorders, assessment, and process disorders. Workshops are held on the 4th Friday of each month from 9:00 am -11:00 am on the campus of Williamsburg Place.

Should one study the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the evolution of the many self-help programs to follow, their roots in Judeo–Christian and Eastern philosophies become apparent. Tailored specifically as a prescription for alcoholics in 1939 by “The Original 100,” AA has remained a centerpiece among self-help organizations to this day. “Constructive Living” (CL) is a term coined by David Reynolds, Ph.D., who serves today as a professor of psychiatry at Stanford Medical School. An anthropologist by trade, Reynolds lived and studied Eastern philosophies as they relate to the practice of psychiatry and psychology in Japan for more than two decades. The synthesis of two types of treatment, Naikan and Morita Therapies, CL is considered the Western version of these approaches. Specialized training has been offered to professionals and non-professionals alike since 1984 in the service of teaching and practicing this lifeway. This lecture will explain this philosophy and how it serves as a way to integrate the principles within a 12-Step recovery program. The ability to “read between the lines” with respect to the principles and disciplines suggested by CL may serve to augment, strengthen, and sustain those practiced in the “suggested program of recovery” offered by AA.

From this workshop, participants will learn that:

Feelings are uncontrollable directly by self-will.
Feelings must be recognized and accepted as they are.
Every feeling, no matter how unpleasant, has a purpose.
Feelings change over time unless re-stimulated.
Feelings and thoughts can be indirectly influenced by behavior.
We are responsible for what we do no matter how we feel.
Dr. Lerner is the CEO of the Milestones in Recovery Eating Disorders Program located in Cooper City, Florida. A graduate of Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Lerner is a licensed and board certified clinical psychologist who has specialized in the treatment of eating disorders since 1980. He has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs that include The NPR Report, 20/20, Discovery Health, and ABC’s Nightline as well authored several publications related to eating disorders in the professional literature, national magazines, and newspapers including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Miami Herald, Orlando and Hollywood Sun Sentinels. He is the author of “A Guide to Eating Disorder Recovery: Defining the Problem and Finding the Solution”, 2016. Dr. Lerner is an active “mentor” for the Florida Professionals Recovery Program where Milestones hosts twice weekly support groups for the South Florida area.



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