Several times a year we work with couples who both have alcohol problems (as we also do with couples where only one is the “designated client”). We can do this very effectively when no one else can.
First, because we work as a team. If you’ve every been to “couples counseling” you know that it almost immediately degenerates into a two on one blame session and whoever is “it” storms out never to return again. But with us that triangulation problem never comes up.
Another pont is that between us we have the “roles” covered too. I used to have the alcohol problem and Mary Ellen got to be the concerned family member designated to find help for her brother.
Next, alcohol abuse always exists within a context and spouses are, after all, a major component of anyone’s day-to-day living. You can’t fix your drinking problem without changing the way you live your life and that means, as spouses, you either change together, go your separate ways, or keep on drinking.
If you want to end the alcohol abuse then spouses have to be part of the solution, or there isn’t going to be one.
Why don’t other programs include spouses? Or treat couples?
For one thing it takes smart, skilled, interested staff – not just a bunch of former clients leading AA meetings masquerading as “treatment”.
For another, you actually have to want clients to succeed, which isn’t part of the “treatment mill” business model.
It also means you can’t do groups which are great time fillers, money makers, and minamize client success.
If you actually want to fix the problems, then we think it’s clear that you’re best served by being treated as a couple as well as individually. Undistracted by groups, and acquiring the tools that actually work (ie, CBT, Naltrexone, Assertiveness Training, Motivational Enhancement, Diet, Exercise, Hormone Therapy, etc.) will enhance your success.
Whether or not you both have a problem with alcohol, we welcome the chance to work with you to create a lasting solution that makes life better for you individually and as a couple.
That is what you want, isn’t it?
No need to wait, either one of you can make that first call – or you can call together.
Perimenopause, Menopause, and Alcohol Abuse…
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of the women we work with are in their 40s and 50s and find themselves drifting into alcohol abuse when hormone levels begin to decline.
That’s right, informal hormone replacement therapy with Chardonnay.
As usual, however, the process makes perfect sense and has nothing to do with being dumb, diseased, or “powerless”. It’s simply a reasonable and logical result of doing what makes you feel better.
For some of you, this can also be exacerbated by the use of alcohol to manage blood sugar levels. Again, many women tend to starve themselves throughout the day and then find that a glass of wine after 3:00 results in immediate relief from all sorts of niggling physical symptoms.
Really, who wouldn’t indulge in a quick fix in such an agreeable and socially acceptable form? After all, it’s “just one glass…”
There really isn’t any mystery in all of this. After all,
- Alcohol goes to estrogen receptors so that feels better;
- Alcohol is pre-digested sugar and immediately restores drooping blood sugar levels;
- Alcohol lowers anxiety.
What’s not to like about any of that? At least until this quick, easy, fix turns into a long difficult problem. Then isn’t it time for a logical solution? A real solution? Your own solution?
Thoughts On The Gym
“A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.” ~ Jason Gay
Links to Success:
Confidentiality and why you want to avoid residential treatment and groups of all kinds.
The Bucket of Crabs or Why AA and Al-Anon are Bad For Your Health.