Let’s Compare “Rehab,” Individual Therapists, and Our Work. Who do You Suppose Gives You the Most for Your Money?

Last week we talked about “Substance vs Filler,” and how you can benefit by electing one over the other, and how to decide what’s in your best self-interest. This week we’d like to also look at one of these points in more detail so you can construct your own “Cost/Benefit” analysis for evaluating your options.
Let’s consider the amount of individual attention you will receive.
Working with us you will, in the first five days, receive both Mary Ellen’s and my undivided attention for about 15 hours each. That’s 30 hours of professional analysis, consideration, education, deprogramming, options, and recommendations – not to mention the time we spend discussing your particular situation.
In a typical 30 day program you might receive four 45 minute sessions with a largely untrained, para-professional, 12 Step zealot.
Going to a private practice therapist you might receive that much attention if you continued the typical once weekly sessions for 7 months. And that from someone without any training in alcohol abuse whatsoever.
In neither case will you receive the insights, coordination, and consideration which we, working as a team, can offer you.
Residential programs will also insist that you join the 12 Step cult, that you are an “alcoholic” (or in denial, but an alcoholic nonetheless), and that you must be “in recovery” forever.
95% of therapists in private practice will insist that you must go to AA and “fix” your “alcoholism” before they can work with you on anxiety, loneliness, boredom, depression, marital, and other issues. In other words, they have it upside down and backwards, having fallen for the AA mythology and brain washing. If they understood alcohol abuse at all, they too would know that if you address the real problems the “symptom” will usually go away.
Finally, there is the continuity issue. “Rehab” collects your money, provides filler, and sends you off with “don’t drink, go to AA” as their follow-up program, something you could have done without ever leaving home and for free.
Individual therapists, when no progress is evident, either cut you loose, or sign you up for another 12 weeks – or years. Guess what that’s about.
In contrast, in addition to the intensive work, we also provide at least 12 weeks of individual follow-up, regularly scheduled weekly sessions by phone or Skype, and you have access to us on an as needed basis too – sometimes for adjustment consultations years after seeing us initially. No one else even remembers who you are.
And your analysis of your preferred option is?

What We Can All Learn From Ex-Smokers

A lot of us who used to drink too much also smoked. That’s not surprising since nicotine is the one anti-depressant that over-rides alcohol’s depressant effects. While that’s an interesting aside, it’s less important than what those of us who quit smoking discovered.
Ask anyone who has quit smoking along with giving up drinking, drugs, or any other “addictive” behavior, and they, me included, will all say that smoking is by far the most difficult habit to break.
Notice that when it comes to smoking, however, the vocabulary changes. It’s a “habit” – not an addiction. You “quit” – not disappear in “recovery.” You break the habit – you don’t admit that it broke poor powerless you. You don’t slather yourself with demeaning labels – you’re simply an “ex-smoker.”
And as for the activities around stopping? For one thing you don’t hid out in churches’ back rooms talking about smoking with a bunch of other people who aren’t ever going to give it up.
Then there are the expectations. You expect it’s going to be a bit difficult, uncomfortable, and that it’s going to take awhile to get it right.
You also expect that it really isn’t going to be too long until the benefits start to show up, and there are a lot of those. You can smell things again. Food tastes better. All manner of health issues from high blood pressure to heart disease to COPD and face wrinkles begin to go away or at least ease up.
You can also hang out with a more interesting class of people without needing to excuse yourself for a cigarette – or have people move their chairs ever farther away from you.
Yes, you can get a bit of short term help from your physician, anti-craving meds, and a therapist who understands treating habits and symptoms and underlying conditions.
But then you move smoking into your proudly filled “been there, done that” bag. It’s not an identity, activity, annoyance, or topic for competitive “smoke-a-logues.” Thank God for all of that. It’s done, finished, through. Be quietly proud and get back to life.
If this all sounds relevant to your drinking, it should.
Think about it. Then let us help you to de-program yourself from the myths that keep you stuck on the 12 Step merry-go-round, one that isn’t all that fun a ride anymore. Let’s address the real issues with real solutions that let you walk away with pride, not a crippling label, a demeaned self, and having been victimized by the professional Steppers and their ilk.