January went by in a bit of a blur. Clients and families from California, Ohio, Minnesota, Texas, and Australia! While that’s gratifying to us, it also makes us a bit sad to realize that competent and affordable non-12 step based services are so rare that people have to travel across the country, or half way around the world, to find them.

That reality is reinforced when we hear the list of “programs” our clients have been shuffled through before coming to us. Tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours wasted on what amounts to little more than endless AA meetings they could have attended at home for free.

You deserve more than that. For a longer discussion, read our article on Comparison Shopping on our website. It’s your life, reputation, money, and time – choose help carefully.

Power Sharing

Mary Ellen and I are always combing through the research looking for new factors to consider in working with clients. Recently she came across a piece which discussed women’s alcohol abuse and the unequal balance of power within many marriages.

This problem was highlighted this week by our work with two clients who exemplified the problem. Each had trailed along behind their husbands’ careers and now they were mad at both their husbands and themselves.

Basically, being in a subordinate position does not usually make for a happy marriage. It may lead a person to alcohol abuse as a response to the frustrations and anger at being impotent or not having an equal voice. Alcohol may come to symbolize rebellion, refuge, and retaliation.

Additionally, the alcohol abuse prevents the underlying problems from being resolved, and further reduces the “problem person’s” position. Traditional treatment makes things even worse by ignoring real causes and labeling the symptom as the problem.

Sign up for being a “powerless and diseased alcoholic” and imagine how successful you’re going to be at creating a equal relationship with anyone.

What’s the answer?

Obviously, ending the alcohol abuse means addressing the imbalance within the relationship along with other vcontributing factors. That’s not something that happens overnight, but with insight, goodwill, and some coaching, it can be accomplished over the course of treatment.


While imbalances aren’t always a factor (nor are women always the ones who are short changed in this area), you’ll want to take a look at your own situation and see if it applies to you. If it does, then you can begin to consider how it can be changed.

Remember too, it’s just one potential factor. Stopping your alcohol abuse will always mean looking at all of the contributing factors, selecting the ones that matter most, then actively changing your life in ways that make you happier, more productive, and a much better friend to yourself and the people you care about.

Tools We Use

Our Cost Benefit Analysis; Long Term Goal Planner; and Weekly Planner are all available at:

Resources For You!

You can find many other helpful sites at:

Alcohol Treatment: Organizations and Resources.

And a final resource – you can call us!! One of us answers the phone personally 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., California time, Monday – Thursday, unless we are with clients.

Even on the weekends, Friday – Sunday, we’re normally available from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

We think you deserve our personal and professional attention so we don’t use answering services, volunteers, or other intermediaries. If we don’t answer, please leave a message. One of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour.

So please don’t hesitate to call. No cost. No sales pitch. No pat answers. No sure-fire “program.” Just a consultation about your particular situation, options, and the very real possibility of complete, permanent recovery.