We recently received an e-mail that read, in part, “The brevity (of your program) scares me.” We do understand that concern, especially with more and more traditional programs pushing for up to 90 day stays.

On the other hand we have clients who have been through those programs and we know that no amount of time makes up for a flawed and failed treatment model.

As one recent client said, “I went through Cirque Lodge ($47,000) and Passages ($67,500!!!) and neither of them was about me. One was the AA cult and the other was a personality cult, both were group based, and nobody ever listened to me.”

Additionally, as a woman, she was further annoyed by both programs’ male orientation, approaches, and focus – not that either works much better for men.

Like many of our clients who’ve been through other programs, she was relieved and gratified that our work is based on listening, not dictating!

Again and again we hear the same thing, “Finally, someone actually heard me!!! You’re actually listening!”

That being the case, 5 days on individual work, with 12 weeks of follow-up, is usually enough. We’re listening to you, working with you, designing your solution, and supporting you through the lasting changes in your life that will eliminate alcohol abuse.

We are NOT indoctronating you into a cult, isolating you from family, turning your spouse into a “12-Step Widow or Widower” or increasing your alcohol focus and use.

It really isn’t the brevity that should concern you. Instead, ask yourself how you would benefit from an extremely expensive “vacation from reality,” an increased focus on alcohol, further estrangement from your spouse, a counter-productive “alcoholic” label, and a severe blow to your career.

We don’t think it’s too hard to decide where your best interests lie.

What do you think?

The Simplest – and Hardest – Rule

There is no simpler rule than this: the only person we can actually change is our self.

It’s also the hardest to remember, and the hardest to act on.

If you are going to change your own behavior you can’t base it on someone else changing. And you can’t change someone else’s behavior unless they want to change.

We see it all the time. Spouses wanting wives and husbands to change; parents wanting children to change; children wanting parents to change; and others wanting the world to change.

The bad news is that you can’t force real change on someone else.

The good news is that you don’t need to. And you don’t need to wait for anyone else – or the world – in order to change yourself.

Changing yourself is something you can do unilaterally! You don’t need permission.

Yes, there are consequences – just as there are for not changing. The main one is that when you behave differently, so will everyone around you. Of course it isn’t always predictable how they will change, react, and respond. There’s the rub.

Keep doing the same stuff you’re probably going to get the same result. But change? God only knows what might happen.

And the uncertainly keeps us stuck. We think about change – what Mary Ellen calls “contemplation hell” – and we wish we’d change (or someone else would). But we take a very long time getting around to actually doing something.

You can cut that contemplation time down with some good short term help. It’s what good trainers, coaches, and counselors do – it’s what we do. We all, if we’re any good, keep you from staying stuck, help you make the transitions effectiently and effectively, and make sure you don’t need us for very long.

We want to free you. From alcohol, from “meetings,” from myths, and, yes, from us, too.

Give us a call and let’s see what you’d like your life to be.

Tools We Use

Ten Reasons to Run From AA – We tripped across this YouTube video, and other relateded videos recently and they contains a lot of truth as well as humor. We thought you might enjoy them too, as well as getting a little food for thought.

As always, our Cost Benefit Analysis; Long Term Goal Planner; and Weekly Planner are all available free 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 can’t answer because we’re with a client or away from our desks, please leave a message. One of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour.