Professional / Academic Articles

These articles and book chapters, from the dozens I have published, represent the range of my work as an academic writer.

Byington, D.B.  (2007). Transforming Childhood Physical and Verbal Abuse: Mind-Body Approaches to Trauma Treatment. In M. Bussey and J.B. Wise (Eds.). Transforming Trauma:  An Empowerment Response. NY:  Columbia University Press.

Erma, a divorced woman in her mid-50s, sat on my sofa, one knee over the other, both feet shaking. Her arms were rigidly crossed over her breasts. In a taut, low voice she told me about being hit repeatedly by her father as a child, and the time he yelled at her and pushed her down the basement stairs, sending her to the hospital with a broken leg. These memories had recently surfaced, and now she found it nearly impossible to force herself to walk past the closed basement door in her own home, safe though she was from the man who was long dead. She kept remembering the experience, and part of her was convinced that someone would suddenly appear at the door and push her down the stairs, even though another part of her knew that her security system would sound the alarm if a stranger tried to enter her house. She was at a loss as to how to handle the extreme fear that gripped her when she attempted to walk down the hall, past the basement door. She could feel herself freeze and numb out even as she spoke to me about the feelings. Could I help?
(click here to read the entire article)

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Byington, D.B. (1997).  Women and addiction: Applying relational theory to treatment.  In L. Straussner and E. Zelvin (Eds.) Gender issues in addiction:  Men and women in treatment.  NY: Jason Aronson, Inc., pp. 33-46.

Many people at the end of the 20th century are isolated, contradicting our innate need for connection and community.  Models of development which stress the need for individuation, differentiation, and autonomy are increasingly being recognized as inappropriate and unfulfilling for women, and to some extent also for men.  In spite of numerous cultural messages attempting to convince women that autonomy and individuation are the highest states of development, women consistently turn to relationships for their sense of self.  Although often not stressed in male models of development, the ability to form and sustain a variety of interpersonal relationships is considered to be a major component of healthy human development, and newer developmental theories are beginning to balance this component alongside that of autonomy.  Relational, or self-in-relation, theory focuses on the importance of relationships, particularly for women, and examines how these are enacted throughout women’s lives.
(click here to read the entire article)

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Byington, D.B. (1996). Remembering Al.  Reflections 2(2):21-24.

Al was my first client as a beginning social work intern.  He was an alcoholic, and he taught me many things.  I was sent, somewhat unwillingly, to an unfamiliar town to intern in a county-sponsored substance abuse treatment program for four months.  I had never worked with substance abusers before and hadn’t yet in my young life known anybody with an alcohol or other drug problem.  I was ripe for a great learning experience, and Al provided it.
(click here to read the entire article)