Fifty years of research have identified what actually works when it comes to ending alcohol abuse and alcoholism – it’s also shown what doesn’t work for most people, particularly women.
AA doesn’t work unless you consider a 3% “recovery” rate “working.” Don’t feel bad if you tried going and fled. That’s what anyone with any sense does. Replacing a drinking problem by signing up for being a powerless loser who’s “in recovery” and isolating yourself away from almost everyone for the rest of your life isn’t a very attractive option – unless you’re only interested in placating someone while continuing to drink your life away. In that case feel free to join AA.
But if that were the case you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?
Still, easy said is not easily done. That’s why we spend 5 days figuring out what will work for you – and then 12 or more weeks supporting you as you incorporate those changes into your everyday life, because that’s where you will find success. Not at some fancy spa where, somehow, you will be cured by the “magic of the palms,” the “vortex,” a walk on the beach, the view, your own personal assistant or a helicopter ride up the magic mountain to meet your higher power (we kid you not).
Since these AA and 12 Steps approaches don’t “work,” what does?
The research is clear: brief therapy, CBT, Naltrexone, motivational interviewing, exercise, assertiveness training, HRT, and/or a number of other tools and approaches and activities especially designed around you, your life, your interests, strengths and abilities, and formulated to fix whatever conditions you are medicating with alcohol.
Which explains why we only work with individuals and couples – working with you to create you specific escape route does not allow for groups. Quite the contrary. Groups keep you trapped, especially those like AA and Alanon that are designed to prevent you from growing.
That’s another key – most of our clients intuitively understand that they long ago outgrew the pre-adolescent conformity that AA requires. Unlike those who need all of the middle-school symbols, tokens. Slogans, and external peer group controls that mark “successful” AA adherents, you put away childish things long ago. This is not a time to return to them, even if you could, which, really, you can’t – not unless you keep on drinking.