Back From a Working Vacation Three weeks ago, I wrote that I was suspending the Newsletter for a couple of weeks while I took a break and went visiting back east. I did and the results were a little surprising. First, it’s always disconcerting to visit the part of western Pennsylvania where I grew [...]
“Doing Stuff” We provide clients with a “Goal Setting” handout (attached to this email) which is designed to help identify areas which could stand to be improved in one’s life. Mostly, we tend to see our lives as one big ball of twine and change looks far too complicated to untangle. The result is, overwhelmed, we do nothing.
Fall is Approaching Once Again… Usually this is the time of year when I suggest that you “fix” things before the holidays. Beyond the previous sentence, I’m not going down that road again this year. Instead I’m going to ask you to reflect on what autumn means to you. As readers, most of you could be described as entering the autumn of your life, in my case that would, optimistically, be late autumn. Happily for me, autumn has always been my favorite season.
Harm Reduction as a Strategy in Overcoming Excessive Self-Medication While changing any behavior is difficult, especially one which becomes as pervasive as our alcohol use, there are any number of ways to go about, as well as ways to avoid going about it. A currently popular buzz word approach is “harm reduction.” Simply put, this means reducing your use over time. Tapering off is the old term. The ubiquitous “does it work?” question, here as elsewhere, is better asked as “can it work?” in which case the answer is yes.
Research Versus the Cult 95% of rehab in the U.S., inpatient or outpatient, amounts to simply charging people to attend AA. As invented by Hazelden and the Johnson Institute in the 1950s, the idea was to sell AA - which wasn’t going to sell itself – and, because AA efficacy rate was 5% or less, they would be able to recycle clients endlessly, or at least until they died. The plan worked beyond the Minnesota Model’s originators’ wildest dreams and grew into a more than $35 BILLION annually industry that sells guaranteed failure. Imagine conning people into spending that kind of money on a product guaranteed not to work? And not just buying it once but repeatedly? And blaming the buyer for failure? And conning TV shows and novelists into promoting the scam?
A Bit of Clarification When I reported that Mary Ellen and I will be closing our practice at the end of the year a reader wrote, “I was thinking about signing up for the last week in December when I’m off from my work, but if you’re closing on December 31 I won’t be able to do the follow-up…” Wrong! You will, of course, be able to do as much follow-up as you want/need. So too, former clients can schedule sessions. The difference is that we won’t be accepting NEW clients.
Pricing History & Evolution Over the years there has been a significant evolution in our program pricing. In the early 2007 days the rate was $6500 for 5 days of individual intensive and 12 weekly follow-up sessions. The intensives were Monday – Friday from 9:00 – Noon. The rates were set because we didn’t have any models. Then, as now, no one does what we do or the way we do it. In fact, we’ve had a number of clients who were professions in marketing who kept pointing out that we could double or triple our gross income “if we’d only…” each work independently, do groups, and so on.
Contemplation Hel I’ve written about it before, and probably will again before January rolls around, but regardless of the issues we face at any point in our lives, the usual response is to camp out in “contemplation hell.” Lose weight? Quit smoking? Get married or divorced? Quit or modify drinking habits? Go back to school? Change jobs, professions, careers? Feel free to add your own collection at this point.
If You’re Still Counting I saw someone on Facebook this afternoon enumerating exactly how many years, months, weeks and days they’d spend in AA followed by another count of how many it had been since they left AA. My comment was, “If you’re still counting, you haven’t left yet.” Think about it. Consider something you no longer do that used to occupy a lot of your time and interest but has faded from your life. Do you know down to the minute how long it’s been since you last engaged in it? Of course you don’t. Really, if it isn’t important anymore, why commemorate having once done it.
The Times They Are A-Changin” For some time Mary Ellen and I have been discussing shifting from semi-retirement to actual retirement. Doing so is a bit complicated and requires considerable lead in as we are a corporation, not just two solo practitioners who work together. That said, we have decided to officially close the corporation this coming December 31st. Why announce our decision 6 months early? Some of you have waited months, or years, to decide whether or not you wanted or needed to work with us. Respecting your decision making, we wanted anyone who wanted it, time to reserve a spot before the literal doors close.