Public Relations Blog

Rein in Your Brain by Cynthia Moreno Tuohy

Rein in Your Brain Cover


Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, became a ward of the state when she was only eight months old. Her parents, in their late teens and unable to control their destructive behaviors, were unfit for child rearing. Moved from one foster or group home to another, Tuohy learned how to protect herself by not trusting anyone; sabotaging relationships; and indulging in petty theft and substances for comfort. Through her addiction, life experiences, and eventual recovery, she gained incredible insight to the way the addicted brain is programmed, leading her to develop and apply techniques that have proven to help those in recovery end their compulsive behaviors, making her one of the leading experts in the field today. Tuohy is the director of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). Her professional role and her life experiences provide an effective backdrop for the thought-provoking analysis, insight, and advice she offers others in her new book entitled REIN IN YOUR BRAIN: From Impulsivity to Thoughtful Living in Recovery (Hazelden Publishing; May 2014; $14.95; Original Trade Paperback/eBook), written with Emmy Award-winning science journalist Victoria Costello.

Written for people working hard on their recovery, REIN IN YOUR BRAIN helps readers end compulsive behaviors while fostering a more thoughtful lifestyle that ensures long-term emotional sobriety. She focuses on the brain, an organ that we know so much more about today than in years past. She clearly explains the limbic system, which is the center of the fight-or-flight responses that often result in impulsive acts commonly associated with people struggling with addiction.  She maintains that people who were raised in unstable environments, especially where role models were unable to control their own impulsive behaviors, may find it challenging to live thought-directed lives and instead give in to instant gratification. They become victims of their own deficient limbic brains, which steer them into inappropriate situations and actions as a way of coping.

In REIN IN YOUR BRAIN, Tuohy explains how the brain functions and why. Then she presents ten proven ways people in recovery can change or better manage their thoughts and actions. Some examples are as follows:

  1. Give up control
  2. Stand still in the moment
  3. Don’t assume intent
  4. Create a blameless relationship with yourself
  5. Take responsibility for self-fulfilling prophecies

With individual chapters on each suggestion, each filled with true stories from Tuohy’s life as well as the lives of patients she has helped in her practice, REIN IN YOUR BRAIN is an essential handbook for tackling the “triggers” that can propel a sober person to take potentially unhealthy actions.  Readers will, perhaps for the first time in their lives, comprehend that the unhealthy coping mechanisms they can’t seem to control were hardwired during childhood. They will learn how their brain’s physiology has contributed to their problems, as well as how they can “rewire” the brain to realize the true version of themselves, the one that has been there all along, hiding behind a lifetime of “limbic” motivated, negative habits.

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CCDC II, SAP, is the executive director of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.
Victoria Costello is an Emmy Award-winning science journalist, known for publishing and advocacy work in mental health and wellness.

Hazelden Publishing is part of the Hazelden Foundation, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949 that helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. With over 60 years of knowledge and experience, Hazelden offers a comprehensive approach to addiction that addresses the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including treatment and continuing care for youths and adults, research, higher education, public education and advocacy, and publishing. Hazelden has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, Florida, and New York