Our Program

Even after 12 years we sometimes forget that our program model is unique and often difficult to understand, as are you. Therefore, I thought it was long overdue that I attempt to give you a comprehensive program description.

First, we need to consider and clear away the ideas we all have been taught about therapy, counseling, rehab, and the usual forms of assistance we have considered or at tempted.

There are essentially three models we are all familiar with: 1) an individual therapist who you work with one-on-one; 2) an outpatient program which is group based and is usually, in the case on alcohol abuse, amounts to paying to attend AA meeting; and 3) “rehab” which is “going away for 30 days” – or more – and attending AA meetings at places that range from dives to luxury resorts, this being “what everyone knows is the only thing that works.”

We don’t fit any of these models just as none of these fit you.

First the problems with the listed models: individual therapy is too little over too long a period of time and most therapists will insist you go to AA and “fix” the drinking problem before they can help you with the actual problems you’re medicating – in other words, they want you to do things backwards. How much sense does that make?

Both inpatient and outpatient “rehab” suffer from the same two problems: they are AA based and hence have a long term “success” rate in the neighborhood of 5 % and they are group based which means there is no attention paid to you or your specific issues.

While all of these things seem obvious once they are pointed out, they aren’t when you’ve been brainwashed your entire life to believe “it’s a disease,” you are “powerless,” and “AA is the only way.” All of which are false.

That said, let’s look at reality and what does work. Misusing alcohol is a symptom, not a disease. You are not powerless. AA works for people whose emotional development was arrested prior to the age of 12. And you can fully recover.

Given that, to us, it has always made sense to work with you individually or as a couple, for us to work as a team, to make the first part intensive and comprehensive (the 5 day, 9:00 – noon, Monday – Friday segment) and define the mosaic of what you are medicating and also come up with a matching plan which addresses your real issues. This also includes a visit to our consulting physician, Tim Norcross, D.O., to address any withdrawal problems and be prescribed the benign anti-craving med, Naltrexone.

Having mapped out the route with you, one that relies on your strengths, abilities, interests, and history, we then spend 12 weeks or so coaching, hand-holding, tweaking your plan, adjusting, commiserating, and celebrating.

Is it any surprise that when you address a problem that is correctly defined (symptom, not disease) and approached in a way that is personally enabling and elevating, not demeaning and dehumanizing, that the “success” rate goes up dramatically?

Substitute real coping skills (CBT, assertiveness training, motivational enhancement, diet and habit management, etc.) instead of infantile “group think meetings” that your life will be improved, not impoverished, across the board?

Again, once freed from “what everyone knows” and given acknowledgement for your particular needs, and keeping the focus on your individual circumstances, why wouldn’t you come out of the process with a life sufficiently improved that moving alcohol abuse into your “been there, done that” collection is relatively easy – certainly easier than the sneaking, planning, lying and worrying that your alcohol use has caused.

Real attention. Real assessment. Real coping skills. Getting an enhanced real life.

Starting is easy. Just make a call and discuss your possibilities with one of us, and yes, you’ll talk to either Mary Ellen or me, not a sales flunky or client volunteer. No pressure, just information.

Program Schedule

Monday: Anxiety reduction, paperwork, doctor’s visit, assessment.

Tuesday: Assessment results, introduction to CBT.

Wednesday: CBT internalization, assertiveness training;

Thursday: Transforming habits, diet, exercise, motivation.

Friday: Planning and preparation for dealing with others.

Follow-up: Weekly scheduled sessions, topics to be determined as needed.

This is, of course, a rough, general outline. Each day is modified to suit your particular needs, concerns, and preferences.

You are a unique individual, not part of the brainwashed and mindless herd. Don’t allow yourself to be treated such!