More About Last Week’s Reported Program Changes

As always, as soon as I read the Newsletter on Sunday morning I find things I overlooked or could have added. I guess that’s what everyone who writes a weekly column finds, but I do try and amend things the next week.

So here goes:

  • The 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. session hours are guidelines. We don’t automatically end a session just because the clock says it’s 11:00. If we’re in the middle of something we’ll keep going until the topic is resolved.
  • The same goes for the Monday – Thursday format. Need another day? Great. Friday is always available.
    Want to use the toll free number across the U.S. and Canada? 1-800-541-6350 is still the number just as it has been for over a decade. International callers can best reach us at the (818) 466-9258 office number or either of our direct lines.
  • Looking for an in-person format? I will continue to offer that at my Calabasas office. This format, and hours, can be completely customized to meet your scheduling needs. Just call and discuss.
  • Unsure about a Skype format? Why not schedule a free consultation to get a feel for how this would work for you? To date, our “test” clients have found it to be a completely satisfactory alternative to our “in person, at the office” format.

And of course you can review last week’s presentation any time you want at: Newsletter, December 9, 2018.

Alcoholic? In Denial? How About Neither?

If you listen to AA, Steppers, rehab programs, most therapists, and people in general, the rhetoric is always the same. If you are over-using alcohol then you are either an “alcoholic” or an “alcoholic in denial.” To which we, and the research, say, hogwash.

Most people who are in trouble with their alcohol use are neither alcohol dependent “alcoholics” not “in denial.” The vast majority of you are self-medicating conditions which can be resolved thus eliminating the over-consumption.

Of course, this means deprogramming you from such toxic ideas as “it’s a disease,” “AA’s the only way,” “rehab works,” and dozens of other myths that pervade our culture and media.

But excessive drinking is usually a symptom. A sign that something – or some things – aren’t going right in your life and you are withdrawing into alcohol’s warm embrace rather than tackling whatever you’re avoiding and resolving the issue, condition, or relationship. Unhappily, withdrawing solves nothing and even worse, when we start withdrawing from one unpleasantry we start using alcohol to withdraw from other problems as well. What AA calls a “progressive disease” is really just using the same “coping skill” – alcohol – to address accumulating problems. Again, this is a completely reversible process. Begin actually fixing things and the alcohol abuse naturally declines.

So why don’t therapists and other professionals adopt this model to help clients and patients? Simply because they have never been trained in what the problems actually are and what actually works. If they have any training at all it’s in AA propaganda – “It’s a lifelong, progressive, irreversible disease and AA is the only way.” As we said earlier, hogwash.

For most of you, the AA mythology actually prevents you from fully recovering. Many of you, like me, said, essentially, “If AA’s the only way then I’ll keep on drinking. There’s more dignity in being a wet drunk than a dry drunk Stepper.”

Happily, for me, and for you, there are much more effective approaches and solutions. Ones that actually enhance your life, not one that condemns you to half-life of an isolationist cult.

Nor do you need to be exposed to labels that will threaten your professional status, licensing, certifications, or security clearances among other things.

The one thing that is a life-long, progressive, and irrevocable problem is the alcoholic label. Once affixed you will never lose it.

Is it any wonder that you don’t seek help when “help” carries a higher price than your drinking? Any wonder you don’t look for help when your drinking is just beginning to trouble you and/or those around you?

In the current state of “treatment”, no one with any sense would expose themselves to all of the negatives that come as side-effects to 99% of treatment options. To make it even worse, these so-called treatments don’t even “work” over 90% of the time!

So here we are. Private, individual, confidential, research-based, efficient, affordable, and effective. Why not invest a few minutes in a free, simple, private, phone call and see what your options might actually be? Either of us will be happy to discuss your situation and what help we may offer in a free consultation. And, no, we won’t even ask for your name.

Mary Ellen at: or her direct line at 310-541-0971;

Ed at: or his direct line at 760-580-5758;

In the L.A. and San Fernando Valley area the Calabasas office number is: 760-580-5758;

Internationally, any of these three numbers will connect you with us.

Or from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, simply call toll free at 888-541-6350;