A Bit of History

Mary Ellen and I met nearly 20 years ago and spent a couple of years putting together a personal, confidential program for people who were over medicating with alcohol. Much of the research for the program came from graduate work I had done at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in the early 1990s and at the time my advisors noted that what I was designing – a research based approach, not a religious cult based approach – was 20 years ahead of the times.

Sadly, nearly 30 years later, we’re still 20 years ahead of the “times.”

But while that may be sad generally, it isn’t necessarily true for you specifically.

We started out with a number of objectives in providing services:

  • Alcohol only;
  • Research, not cults;
  • Confidential;
  • Affordable;
  • Effective;
  • Private;
  • Mature clients;

You’re welcome to use the above as a check list should you call anyone else. 99+% can’t, and won’t, meet any of these criteria.

Have some things changed since we opened the doors? Of course. As we have gotten older so have our clients. Initially we focused on clients between the ages of 35 and 60. Now it’s more like 45 to 70.

Initially it was necessary to come to our Palos Verdes, CA offices for 5 days of in-person sessions. Even before Covid19 we had begun to rethink that given that it made professional services too expensive with travel and lodging thrown in. Hence, we began moving towards distance delivery in the fall of 2018.

With that shift the cost fell. Instead of $12,500 plus travel, we could offer inclusive services for $5,500. You also have more control with regard to follow-up: you decide how many weeks, or months, you need. 4 sessions are included in the base cost but additional sessions are available for as long as you want them – even if that turns out to be years down the road.

Over the years we have helped clients from across the U.S. and Canada but also from around the world. Individuals and couples have appeared from India, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. The good news now is that you can access the same level of professional services from anywhere you can access a Zoom connection.

While the technology has changed since we were picking out furniture, carpets and drapes nearly two decades ago, the quality of service has improved with our experience with some 700+ clients as the cost has gone down.

Covid19 won’t last forever – perhaps this is a good time to spend some of those empty hours preparing for a life unfettered by alcohol as well as unconfined by Covid19? Don’t you at least deserve to take advantage of our always free consultations?

All of us, yes, even Mary Ellen and me, have more options than we recognize. Why not expand your list of choices?

No, I’m No Different.

This afternoon I go in for my 3-month post-op check-up. My knee seems to be working pretty well as it’s supposed to, but after 4 failed surgeries over 7 years I am guarded in my optimism.

Such is true of our clients and their families. Simply because things appear to be going well after 3 months doesn’t mean that the improvements will continue.

Yet we are all stuck with the reality of self-fulfilling prophecies. Like you and your alcohol use patterns, or your family member’s, and my knee, the outcome takes a year to gain confidence and credibility.

Yet to achieve that desired end means doing the work now. If I want my functional knee back, I have to assume that it’s going to happen if I do my Physical Therapy (1.5 hrs., Monday/Wednesday/ Friday; 2.5 hrs Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday). Of course, I’m not perfect. I skip some days and I skip some exercises but I do about 66% and so far my progress exceeds expectations.

The same applies to you. Getting your life back, regaining confidence in yourself, and others regaining confidence in you, will take about a year and it is a process and there will be some challenges. But manage to do most of what it takes most of the time and when that year is up odds are you will have a much better life and relationships and I will be able to take all of those long-deferred hikes.

Let’s not let Covid-19’s demise find us unable to take advantage of newly restored freedoms. Prep now for life then. I am, you can too.