Unique Answers to Your Individual Circumstances

We have always worked with individual clients – and occasionally couples – never groups!

“Treatment Programs” love groups! Groups are cheap, fill time, do not require competent professionals (quite the opposite), and ignore your individual circumstances, strengths, interests, abilities, goals, and options.

Is it a surprise that these “programs” fail you 85% – 95% of the time?

It’s also true that most of you already know that that route isn’t for you.
Still, knowing what isn’t right, doesn’t automatically lead to what is – especially since what is effective has been undermined by over six decades of rehab propaganda and social brainwashing: “You’re powerless!” “It’s a disease!” “You can never recover!” “AA is the only way!”

These and dozens of other false assertions have kept tens of millions of you from seeking short-term, effective, confidential, research and outcome based assistance.

Let me briefly describe what actual help looks like.

First, it is individual because you and your situation are not like anyone else’s – therefore you need someone who actually listens, not someone who checks off a preconceived “diagnosis” and shuttles you off to 12 Step rehab.

Second, most find it helpful to run through a little deprogramming. AA has so infected our culture that we all harbor at least some residual myths. We also need to learn to rebut all of those “everyone knows” critics of any of us who diverge from the party line.

Third, helping has a lot to do with listening – no, not you to us, but specifically, us listening to you. If we, together, are going to get to the core of what you are self-medicating, then we better listen closely.

Fourth, how many coping skills do you have in your bag of tricks? In our over-45 client base, most people have a fair collection or at least awareness of such tools as CBT. Other desirable traits like assertiveness may well require some honing (over 15 years and 500 clients, it’s safe to say that assertiveness training is the most needed component we can actually teach).

Then there are the usual diet and exercise preferences, staying motivated, and managing your conditions including loneliness, boredom, dysthymia, and achieving balance in your personal, professional, and social lives.

Conventional treatment, be it inpatient, out-patient, or with an individual therapist, does not consider any of this. It’s all seen as irrelevant since “alcohol is the problem!”

But if, realistically, self-medication is the symptom? A symptom that will abate if the underlying conditions are proactively addressed?

But that would mean an end to recycling clients – or hanging on to them forever. That would mean actually helping people to recover.
That means that your hope is the “industry’s” worst nightmare.

Your hope is not doomed – but you will have to address it proactively, not passively.

No, we can’t “do it” to you or for you – but we will do it with you. And then you will be happy to leave the problem, and us, behind.

Contemplation Hell

In their classic book on behavior change, Changing for Good, Prochaska, Norcross and DiClemente noted that change occurs through a process of stages. These include:

  • Precontemplation (more commonly known as “denial”);
  • Contemplation (I know I should but…);
  • Preparation (what are my options?);
  • Action (okay, I’m going to do this);
  • Maintenance (now to keep the change going).

In our work, we encounter the stumbling blocks at each stage that keep you from making lasting changes.

I titled this “Contemplation Hell” because this is the stage where we usually stay stuck. Yes, we know we “should,” but resistance is high – so high, or ingrained, that we don’t even want to explore the options.

This is especially true as we age and the possible benefits from any change are too often seen as being offset by the effort and, really, how long will we be around to enjoy those benefits in any case?

Yet these sorts of “why bother” road blocks are easily refuted.

First, if you don’t make a change you have no idea what the benefits will be. Wouldn’t it be nice to find out? And, really, if you don’t like the results, you can always go back to what you’re doing, having allowed yourself a comparison instead of an ill-founded conjecture.

Yes, the preparation can be exhausting and discouraging. Every time I have ever moved I have found the search for a new physician, dentist, barber, dry cleaners, and dozens of other common necessities to be daunting, though necessity eventually overrides grumbling.

Action? But I want you to do it for me, or to me – sort of like a surgical intervention. Most of us as disinclined to exert extra effort – and again, aging exacerbates this tendency even though this is the point in life where the effects are greatest.

Maintenance? A satisfactory “new normal” is not as hard to maintain as we usually tell ourselves. Good habits are just a resistant to change as bad ones.

Contemplating? Preparing? As we have done for 15 years, we continue to help you wade through the possibilities with free consultations – and the consultation are with us, not a marketing department, volunteer recruiter, or anyone else in the usual programs. We aren’t trying to pressure you into our one-size-fits-all model, and we are interested in you making an informed decision that’s in your best interests, whether that means you work with us or not.