Meet Daniel


I’m a natural born ‘relater.’ 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 versus when I was picking up on the tension, distance, lack of understanding and disconnection that seemed to prevail.


I was also paying attention to how I felt when I was relating, especially those closest to me. 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. What a show my life was! I was in the audience and I was on stage.  It seems that I’ve always been negotiating between how to stay grounded in myself while I was connected to another person, regardless of how dysfunctional or healthy they were.

What did I glean from thirty plus years of work with individuals, couples and families? What became apparent was is a running theme. 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. 

Most people suffer from their primary relationships failing to provide adequate emotional nourishment, leaving an ever-backlogging pain from unmet emotional needs, (for love and connection) that fuels their desperation to relieve it. Many people have learned to steel themselves from constant discord, chaos, lack of safety, loss and abandonment, trauma and abuse. They lacked experience in healthy relationships and lacked healthy role models. They may have never seen or been around a healthy relationship. They never learned how to relate or connect. They were never taught. 

I’ve firmly believe that regardless of what 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 hand-hold you through the process.

This is my purpose – to change the world by changing relationships one relationship or family at a time, and how we relate to one another through mainstream 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 else, anywhere, for the first time. 


About Daniel 

Daniel Linder is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Addiction Specialist and Relationship Trainer, practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area, doing individual, couples, family and group therapy since 1981.  He describes himself as a “self and relationship-based therapist,” an addiction specialist and relationship trainer who incorporates mindfulness-based principles and practices; cognitive behavioral and systems therapy; existential, positive and self-psychology and communication skills building, into his work with individuals, couples, families or groups. "All the work I do is about bringing you back to your Self."

Daniel had created 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, Dating, A Guide to Creating Intimate Relationships (1995), which then led to Intimacy, The Essence of True Love (2007). He had written, To Relieve the Pain, Demystifying Addiction (2004) and Beyond Sobriety, Empowering the Transformation of Relationships (2006), and most recently, Humanizing Addiction, The Relationship Model of Addiction, as well as numerous articles on addiction, recovery and relationships.  

His 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


TRMA is a paradigm shift to humanize, understanding addiction and recovery in humanistic terms; focusing mostly on the emotional, psychological and relational aspects of addiction.


TRMA is the answer to the question, what happens when our need for love and go unmet?


We see human beings in terms of two basic needs: Our need for love and our need to relieve pain (physical or emotional). When we feel pain, we need to relieve it.


When our need for love for love gets met, we feel good, better overall, nourished. We live much richer, fuller, more productive, purposeful and meaningful lives, and we feel better. We grow and thrive. Love and connection themselves can be intoxicating. 

When our need for love and connection (all other emotional needs) do not get met, it hurts. The less love, the more pain, The greater the pain, the greater the need to relieve that pain. The greater the need for relief, the more desperately we seek relief, and will surely find a means of relief to get addicted to. 

From TRMA perspective, addiction is not a disease. Addiction is defined as a relationship with a means of relief of pain from unmet emotional needs. 


Relationships that fail to provide adequate emotional nourishment leave an ever-growing backlog of pain are the spawning ground of addiction. The need to relieve the ever-growing backlog of pain is the underlying driving force of addiction.


This relationship takes on a life of its own outside of your awareness and takes over your life, and you have no idea what's happening. Denial is in full force. Your perceptions of yourself and others get distorted. You're operating in secrecy, up-holding a false front of normalcy that belies the storm of pain within. 


Most addictive relationships are akin to a carrying on a secret love affair. They become primary relationships (all others secondary or peripheral) and are all consuming. Increasing isolation is par for the course, which means more pain and suffering, and a greater need for relief; thus a vicious cycle.


The more nourishment our primary relationships provide, the less pain from unmet emotional needs there is going to be, which spells doom to the addiction. 


Recovery is a transitional journey out of non-emotionally nourishing relationships and into emotionally nourishing ones. The Three Stages of the recovery journey are: I-Breaking-up (with the means of relief); II- Developing the Relationship with Self and becoming proficient in the arts of dating, relating and III – Creating Emotionally Nourishing Relationships (relationship training). 


 TRMA™ applies to the following addictions:

  • Substances (alcohol, opiates, prescription meds, meth, cocaine, marijuana)

  • Porn

  • Sex

  • Compulsive Gambling

  • Love or Relationship Addiction

  • Co-dependency


The treatment implications are huge. TRMA can serve as a map of the recovery journey, through The Three Stages of Recovery, that can be brought to center-stage and integral to any recovery or aftercare program. .  He is now conducting workshops and webinars focusing on the first time you meet someone, as well as relationship training workshops for co

His website offers an abundant amount of free, easily accessible, high value educational materials, e-books, webinars, courses; materials, available for purchase as well.




RelationshipVision™ 2017