Towards a “New Normal

We often suggest to clients that it takes about a year to create a “new normal” devoid of self-medication. We usually break that year down into stages:

  • Working with us for 6-12 weeks doing foundation work;
  • Becoming comfortable with new activities, routines, and relationships;
  • Gaining trust in ourselves and others;
  • Relaxing!

What do these stages look like specifically?

Your work with us has two stages: the 4 days of individual, intensive, two hour sessions with both Mary Ellen and me. These usually run from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. These are followed up with four individual sessions with one of us (your choice). The cost of this work is $5,500. We only accept one new client per week, a non-refundable $2,000 deposit holds “your” week with the balance due on the first session day. We take VISA, MasterCard or Discover.

Additional individual sessions are available in blocks of four for as long as you want them, at $800 per block.

In general, half of our clients find the initial four follow-up sessions to be adequate, nearly as many opt for an additional block of four, and a few continue on as they resolve issues that not drinking has revealed. But, as always, your needs and preferences dictate this.

With foundation work navigated, the next adjustment means becoming comfortable with life devoid of alcohol’s costs and benefits. That normally takes up to six months.

It takes from six months to a year to regain trust in ourselves and others but it does happen. Just don’t expect too much too soon.

As you approach a year you will find that most of your fears around not drinking have been groundless.

Covid19 and the Other “New Normal

As the pandemic rages with no letup in sight, it’s increasingly apparent that we will all be adjusting to a “new normal” whether we want to or not. World-wide catastrophic events have consequences that far out last the events themselves.

Think about World Wars I & II, the Great Depression, the Spanish Influenza, or any other far reaching events – including slavery and Native American genocide.

The reality is that, at best, the virus isn’t going away and won’t be controlled for another year. The effects on all of us will carry over for the rest of our lives, assuming you are at least of school age during the crisis.

As adults, I doubt we’ll ever think quite the same about going out to dinner, family gatherings, community events, sports, or, yes, toilet paper.
That noted, you have choices about how to cope and these can be either destructive – drink your way through – or positive – learn new skills whether CBT for anxiety or reading for respite.

You can learn new ways to engage with others, whether Zoom book clubs or just Zoom social gatherings.

You can also sort out who and what actually matters to you.

With the threat of illness always hovering it’s easier to think about how you want to spend the finite amount of time we each have. “It concentrateth a man’s mind wonderfully to know he is to be hanged in a fortnight” is a well-known axiom, and while not as certain as an execution date, this is still a good time to “concentratith” one’s mind regarding what’s actually important.

Have extra time? Use it.