The past two weeks have been something else! Lots of work on our website; lots of help from our main operations advisor; and an unexpected client to brighten September. Plus the ongoing pleasure of working with clients who’ve returned home, helping them to maintain the gains, iron out the wrinkles, and keep moving along to new and better lives.

Every now and then we find ourselves sitting in the office, looking at each other, and saying something like, “Wow! How did we get to be so lucky to have all of these people to work with to help make their lives – and ours – better?”

Thank you! From us to all of you, clients, former clients, associates, colleagues, friends, and readers.

This week:

1. “This isn’t anything like what I expected!”

2. This Week’s Tip

3. Around the Office


5. Tools From Our Chest

6. A Touch of Humor

1. “This isn’t anything like what I expected!”

That’s what clients usually say at the end of our first morning.

“What did you expect?” one of us will ask.

“I don’t know. I guess that you’d yell at me, or tell me how weak or dumb I was, or how I’d ruined my life and ………”

If they’d gone almost anywhere else that’s pretty much what would have happened – along with being told they were powerless and incurable, and would need to be “in recovery” forever. We don’t go there.

Another client said, “Are you just going to sit there saying good things about me?”

Pretty much – because we believe you’ve forgotten about those parts and could use help remembering them – and that those parts, your strengths, abilities, interests, and yes, basic goodness, are the traits which will bring you to a better life – something that being labeled and dehumanized will not accomplish.

To read a personal perspective, check out our link at:

http://789.0e0.mytemp.website/articles/treatment-for-women/87-one-womans-experience-with-the-non-12-step-5-day-outpatient-alcoholism-treatment-program where you can read the journal a recent client kept and generously gave us permission to share with you.

2. This Week’s Tip:

Try eliminating the word “can’t” from your vocabulary when it comes to thinking about yourself. For example, instead of “I can’t stop drinking,” say, “I won’t stop drinking.” This begins the process of returning the power to change your behavior back to you. As you replace the “can’ts” of your life with “won’ts” you will be amazed at how much better you begin to feel about yourself and your life.

3. Around the Office:

The fog drifted over the Palos Verdes Peninsula this morning and as I drove from the gym to the office around 7:00 a.m. I could smell the horses. I love that smell in the early morning – an odor that takes me back to my uncle’s farm and making maple syrup and all sorts of other good memories. Occasionally I just pull over, climb out of the car, inhale deeply, and feel myself relax back into that far away moment in time and enjoy it.

Like many of our clients, childhood didn’t contain a lot of good moments, but as life improves so do the memories most of us recall. Smells, the researchers tell us, are the most powerful stimulants we respond to, so for me horses equals Uncle Carl and Amish buggies; Hoppies #9 Nitro Powder Solvent equals Uncle Fred, shotguns, wet dogs and the woods; and burning leaves equals fall and a Friday night high school football game.

We’re always hoping clients will learn with us that it’s never too late to change the past, bring back whatever good there was, defuse the bad, and to become optimistic about how we’re going to turn out.


If you just set people in motion, they’ll heal themselves. – Gabrielle Roth

A problem well defined is half solved. – John Dewey

A man of good will with a little effort and belief in his own powers can enjoy a deep, tranquil, rich life – provided he go his own way…– Henry Miller

I am turning over a new leaf, but the page is stuck.– Diane Arbus

5. Tools From Our Kit:

We’re always looking for resources to pass along: books, CDs, websites, and other supportive materials you can access on your own. We only include things we use ourselves. This time the tool is a website that will help you see the impact of your current life style on your overall health. It has a free “Real Age” calculator that will tell you how old you are physically as compared to you chronologic age, and will also tell you how to lower your “real age.”


We recommend it to everyone, especially for those of us who don’t really want to discuss our health matters with a doctor, or when no doctor is available.

6. A Touch of Humor:

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. -Ernest Hemingway

When people keep telling you you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try it. -Margaret Chase Smith

You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t want to know. -Jerry Garcia

Congress, that benevolent asylum for the insane. -Mark Twain

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. – Yogi Berra