Additional Follow-Up Answers

I appreciate all of the time and effort so many of you have put into helping to adjust our practice to more closely meeting your needs and preferences. Making services available to you is, obviously, a primary concern but exactly what that looks like is less readily apparent.

For example, one reader commented that an important part of his benefiting from our work with him was the time away from home it gave him to focus, reflect, and distance himself from the problems associated with his drinking. He hoped we wouldn’t abandon the face-to-face, in person, model we have so successfully perfected.

The answer? We haven’t and coming to work with us will remain an option for those who think that that would be in their best interest. Please note that one of the differences you encounter in working with us, is that we assume that you are capable of determining what is in your best interests.

However, it is equally obvious that prospective clients are concerned about receiving a level of service consistent with the degree of the problem.

Again, we have always acknowledged, and stressed, that discomfort with one’s alcohol use ranges from modest self-nagging to fixated on, and that services should reflect that.

In addressing the range of services desired, along with costs, delivery methods, and your preferences – including you maintaining control – we are experimenting with an additional model.

This would amount to an assessment session followed by four working sessions. Each of these 5 would be 90 minutes long and include both Mary Ellen and me. At the end of this “intensive” period, you would be welcome to schedule follow-up session or not as you choose. These follow-up sessions would be available in blocks of 4 and could be done with either or both of us.

Clarifying this a bit, I hope, is a problem we have been aware of from the very beginning. That is that we are a hybrid and no one knows exactly how to categorize us. Clearly, we don’t even remotely fit into the usual 30 day residential treatment model. Nor do we fit into the traditional “see your therapist once a week forever” model.

Both of these models are, unfortunately, money making models, not “address the problem and correct it” models, which is what we have always worked to do. As an astute client once remarked, “I get it, 3 Steps: get a grip; get a life; get out of here,” or, as another noted, “you’re the all substance, no filler model.”

What this comes down to is, you decide just how much assistance you think will be helpful, choose as delivery model that suits your needs, preferences, and budget, talk to us about other personal consideration, and move the problem out of “contemplation hell” and into the “been there, done that” category of life experiences.

We often note that in working with us, and our unique model, you get the benefit of both of our very different backgrounds, as well as the gender difference aspects, plus the insights we can offer from 15 years of work with hundreds of individual clients.

Confidential, affordable, personalized, and readily available in a number of formats.

What more could you want?

People Often Make the Mistake of Thinking it’s About Drinking

Understandably, given the pervasive mythology, clients, would-be clients and, really, anyone struggling with their drinking, think that alcohol is the problem “If I could just stop drinking,” is the lament.

And so they do stop drinking, for a while, but soon go back to it and seem genuinely surprised.

So what is the disconnection?

If you harbor the illusion that drinking or alcohol is the problem, and you give it up, then everything should be fine. But it’s not. Frequently, “things” are worse without alcohol’s buffering and consoling. “But I stopped,” they say, genuinely confused, disappointed, and distraught.

This disconnect disappears when you adjust your perception to self-medication being a symptom, not a “disease.” (And remember it only became a “disease” when con artists decided to force medical insurance to pay for “treatment.”)

And While We’re At It, Let’s Not Forget Habit

For many of us, our drinking just became something we did. The cocktail hour at 5:00 providing a book mark that the workday was done – unless you’re a woman with a husband and children to look after, of course – and alcohol produced a nice relaxing feeling as well as bumping up sluggish blood sugar levels to get you through an evening of cooking, cleaning up, and homework.

Over time the habit expanded, especially with the arrival, of empty nests, retirement, or just aging in general.

And it’s a really easy habit to expand until it begins to blot out everything else in one’s life.

But it’s still a habit and habits can be changed. Be reassured by ex-smokers’ highly relevant assertion that, “I decided to kick the habit.”

Habit and/or Symptom, or a bit of both, why not get it under control again?