We got a call…..

Last week we got a call from a reader who said, “I’ve been reading your Newsletter for a year now, but last Friday I got a DUI.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

First, merely reading the Newsletter isn’t going to fix anything. Reading is part of the “contemplation” stage of change, it’s preparing to take action!

Unhappily, most of us confuse “getting ready”, whether it’s reading our Newsletter, going to therapy, attending an AA or Alanon meeting, etc. with “doing something” about our drinking problem.

It’s not. At it’s best, it’s preparing to do something. At it’s worst, it’s avoiding doing something.

We hope in your case it’s preparation, not avoidance.

Please! The cost of a first DUI, According to the SUNY-Pottsdam “Alcohol – Problems and Solutions” is at least $20,000!!!

Additionally, there’s that public record that will dog you for life and all of the future possibilities a single DUI will foreclose.

Why not take action? Spend the $8,750 that will preempt ever collecting that first DUI? Or a second? Or third?

It really is time to stop contemplating and act!


Our Intensive 5 Day Recovery Retreat

Our 5 Day Recovery Retreat focuses on you and your life and the principles of self-empowerment. The Retreat consists of ten or more individual sessions with both Dr. Barnes and Dr. Wilson and may include your spouse or other significant people. The usual Monday – Friday schedule, as well as the hours, can be modified to suit your particular circumstances.

Initial sessions focus on the history of your alcohol abuse and your current drinking patterns and related problems. It is also an exploration of the conditions underlying your misuse of alcohol: boredom, loneliness, anxiety, grief, pain, and so on.

You will also receive a copy of our Client Resource Guide with information and assignments which help to guide and reinforce the activities we are doing during sessions. While other programs merely read through their “book” and do one-size-fits all assignments, we custom design all assignments and readings to fit your unique needs.

Normally, the first day also includes a scheduled appointment with our medical consultants for evaluation of the use of anti-craving medication and any discomfort that may be associated with withdrawal.

The second day focuses on the present, including an analysis of your Washington University Sentence Completion Test results and a discussion of how this model relates to your alcohol use. Dr. Wilson has been using this measure and model with clients for over 25 years and it is of great help in quickly identifying many underlying factors in both individuals and couples.

The second day also begins the assessment of the “Costs and Benefits” of drinking and not drinking – both as they apply to you, but also as they apply to spouses, friends, and others in your day-to-day life.

Day 3 includes the development of goals for how you would like you life to look as compared to how it looks now. Specifically, we work with you in looking at different areas – educational, vocational, marital, health, recreation, social, etc. – and which of these areas are satisfactory and which need attention. Once identified, we focus on developing systems for change.

Day 4 addresses family relationships, work relationships, friends and activities and how these can be supportive of change, how to deal with sabotage, and what constitutes a support group and supportive activities, and, particularly with spouses, how to be supportive.

The formal 5 Day Retreat ends with a concluding summary session on Day 5. The purpose here is to integrate the work of the previous days into a concrete plan of action for the coming weeks. The reality is that problems get fixed in your day-to-day life and the upcoming 12 weeks are when you’re going to need the most encouragement.

Please note! We do not fob you off on on-line chat rooms, AA or other so-called support groups, or the occasional 15 minute phone call to a trustee, para-professional, volunteer, or other disinterested party of dubious competence and less concern. You’ve invested a lot in your success and so have we. Let’s make sure it happens!

And All Of This With Absolute Confidentiality!
We Are The Only Program In The Country Who Can Make That Promise!

The 12 Weeks of Follow-up

As noted above, behavior change takes place in the course of your everyday life and this is where support is critical. Recognizing this, we provide scheduled weekly 1 hour sessions, but also provide relatively unlimited phone and e-mail access to one of us from 8:00-8:00 daily. Major behavior change always results in unforeseen challenges and you need to be able to get the support, coaching, reassurance, and perspective, you need when you need it – not just as scheduled.

Does it work? Most assuredly, it does. Because we have spent 20 hours or more together we have established the relationship that’s necessary to continue working together regardless of the geographic distances involved. Wherever you are across the U.S., Canada, and even Australia, we’re as close as your phone.

Please note that no other program in the country provides this type of on-going support!

Other Significant Aspects of the Intensive Recovery Retreat Program?

Nothing is as important as the professional and personal investment we make in you and your full, permanent recovery from alcohol abuse. We are the only team in U.S. providing the highly effective solutions we have developed from our decades of experience, research, and client input. We are also the only program to work with couples and the often difficult issues, histories, and future changes that both face.

Please! Give yourself and those you a care about, and who care about you, the best possible outcome to a very troubling problem. Let us be the guide to creating the best life you’ve ever had.

Ending alcohol abuse isn’t a matter of “giving up drinking” – it’s a matter of creating a life that’s more satisfactory without alcohol abuse than with.

Odds and Ends…

The Federation of State Physician Advocacy Groups (FSPAG) lists us as a preferred provider of effective and confidential services through our Licensed Professionals Program.

Whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, teacher, therapist, or other licensed of certificated professional, you can work with us without fear of exposure.

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Brother Off To Rehab is Mary Ellen’s popular article on what she learned the hard way ten years ago about the treatment industry.

Women and Alcohol – What To Consider In Treatment and why women need and deserve services built around women’s needs, not just another recycled (and failed) men’s program – which is all anyone else has to offer.


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Remember, whether you need to abstain or cut back, or discover what’s possible for you, we’re here to help.

For information, or just to talk, one of us answers the phone personally from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Pacific Time, unless we are with a client.

If we don’t answer, leave your name and number and one of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour.