Fear is an interesting double edged sword for most of us. Growing up, fear was an asset in that it forced us to develop coping skills that anger based people never did. For them aggression became the only coping mechanism they needed or ever developed.

That resulted in them being arrested, emotionally and psychologically, at an early age. While they never recognize it, this leads to impoverished lives while the rest of us mature to be able to create intimate relationships.

But the legitimate fears of our childhoods, fears that allowed us to survive, also tend to linger into adulthood and interfere with the personal relationships we are capable of and crave as the antidote to our loneliness.

Yet our fearful passivity in childhood also often failed to mature into adult assertiveness. This lack of assertiveness and the lure of “familiar” partners – who treat us as one parent or another did – can keep us mired in the fear and loneliness  we then medicate away with alcohol.

Sound too deep and complicated? It isn’t really – though perhaps it’s a bit much for a brief Newsletter topic.

But that is why we spend a lot of time working with you, analyzing your relationships and your passive and passive-aggressive responses.

And that’s why assertiveness training is often a major component of what we offer.

Time for you to step up for yourself?

Remember, if you don’t, no one else is going to either

No, no other treatment programs are going to teach you the merits of becoming assertive.  This is the antithesis of their message that you are a powerless victim – both of alcohol and their “program.”

Virtually all “rehab” programs rely on the old military basic training model: isolate, terrorize, regress, indoctrinate, and freeze you at a per-adolescent maturity level.

Don’t believe it?

Consider that most “residential programs” confiscate your phone, books, meds, writing materials, and any possible links to the outside and/or rational world. Many lock you in and blackmail you if you threaten to leave.

On the other hand you will be expelled if you question anything – at least once your payment has cleared – and labeled “non-compliant” and “in denial.”

(Of course you are questioning and non-compliant if you have any sense, but this is one time when reverting to the patterns of your fearful childhood may be a good idea. Keep your head down, appear to comply, and get out as unscathed as possible.)

Soon you notice that the staff are mostly former clients, have no training in what actually works to relieve your problems, and are unable to make any sense out of the senselessness you are being swallowed up by.

Then, to make matters worse, there are endless groups which just turn out to be AA meetings passed off as “therapy.”

If you understand that AA and the 12 Steps do work for some people whose emotional development ended at pre-puberty, it all makes a certain amount of Kafkaesque sense.

But you’re not a 12 year old, nor are you interested in devolving into being one. Besides, even if you were, why would you be paying $1500  a day or more to do something you could do for free in a back room in your neighborhood?

Yes, you’re right – it’s the Emperor’s New Clothes all over again.

(Also see: “Unjustly Accused; Divorce, Alcoholism, and the Treatment Trap“)

Not a parade you want to join. Instead, why not actually fix the problem, as you would any other, by addressing the causes and turning your alcohol abuse into just another bad habit you left behind?

“Been there, done that,” or “In recovery forever?”

Need help deprogramming from the brainwashing?

We do that too!