Allen Berger, PhD

Who I am has been shaped by many different forces and experiences. Below you will find some of the defining moments from my personal life and from my professional life. I hope that understanding the kinds of challenges I have faced in my life helps you get to know me better. These experiences have all played an important part in making me the person and psychotherapist I am today.

My personal and professional life has moments both wonderful and tragic:

  • My father’s death when I was eleven.
  • My alcoholism and drug addiction before, during, and after my service in Vietnam.
  • My journey into recovery since 1971.
  • My professional journey, mentored by some of the best therapists and addictions specialists in the world.
  • My deep gratitude to my Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, to my family and friends, and to the many outstanding professionals who mentored me and worked with me.
  • Over forty years of experience as a psychotherapist.

About the Author

Allen Berger, PhD, a popular public speaker and nationally recognized expert on the science of recovery, is the author of 12 Essential Insights for Emotional Sobriety12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, 12 More Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone, 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends and Love Secrets Revealed: What Happy Couples Know About Having Great Sex, Deep Intimacy, and a Lasting Connection. His pamphlet, “How to Get the Most Out of Group Therapy,” helps clients in treatment, continuing care, or Twelve Step groups, understand what happens in group meetings and how these meetings help members acquire recovery skills. Dr. Berger lives in Los Angeles, California.

Early Life

I grew up in the Windy City — Chicago, Illinois — in the 1950’s.


Recovery Begins

I will never forget the day I met Tom McCall.


Professional Development

My college and post-graduate work progressed alongside my professional evolution.



I believe it is important to find our lost, true selves.