Assertiveness, Anyone?

We’re always looking for common themes among our clients and how these play into alcohol abuse. Over the past 20 years a number of traits have emerged as contributory factors.

While the ones we often share are loneliness, boredom, anxiety, and escape, the traits that lead to these conditions and the need to escape are often rooted in intelligence, sensitivity, and a fear-based (as opposed to anger-based) personality.

As complicated as this all sounds, it usually comes down to problems within our personal relationships. Afraid to assert ourselves, we allow ourselves to be taken for granted, neglected, abused, and/or exploited.

In return, we drink to ease the resulting loneliness and, often, as a passive-aggressive way of getting back at our spouses, other family members, or boy/girl friends. But that backfires and only reinforces our “one down” feelings and position.

The solution? Assertiveness training – which is, of course, anathema to the AA/12 Step based philosophy that stresses “powerlessness” and victimhood and their adherents’ inability to deal with other people (the fear of “normies”).

Is it really any surprise that traditional treatment usually fails and even results in increased alcohol abuse?

Instead, we work with clients to replace passivity, stigma, and depression with assertiveness, confidence, and health.

Yes, it’s tough to change established habits and responses, but it’s better than continuing to sacrifice yourself to neglect, manipulation, and abuse, whether it’s self-inflicted or comes
from others.

“Don’t Drink, Go to AA”

“Don’t drink, go to AA,” is all of the follow-up 98% of all treatment programs offer. Talk about a recipe for failure.

Why do they do that?

First, they know that it ups the odds you’ll “relapse” and if you’re running the usual revolving door treatment program that’s exactly what you want to promote — failure.

Second, they have no interest in offering what actually works: helping you adjust to a new, normal, day-to-day life that doesn’t include drinking.

Third, providing actual follow-up takes time and skill and an interest in your success — again, not part of traditional programs whose only interest is in getting you out the door once your check has cleared.

Providing 12 or more weeks of personal follow-up is what we offer you. Regularly scheduled sessions every week; access to one of us whenever you need us; along with support and motivation while you build that new, normal, and healthier life.

That works because you have spent some 15-20 hours with us establishing the individual, professional relationships that make distance delivered follow-up not just possible, but preferable, to other forms of support.

Do you want to continue to have an alcohol focused life, a life based on NOT doing things and avoiding intimacy, fun, competence, and other normal human activities? Then just follow the standard advice — don’t drink, go to AA — and rest assured you will get the standard outcome: a return to drinking and a continuation of your miserable life.

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to be a successful ex-drinking “normie” you can give us a call.


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