Dr. Barnes and Dr. Wilson personally answer the phones from 8:00AM until 5:00PM (PST) everyday.
In U.S. & Canada: 888-541-6350
In Southern California, Nationally, or Internationally, call:
818-466-9258

March 8, 2009 Newsletter

Callers frequently ask us what we do and how it’s different from what 12-Step/AA based programs do. It’s a question worth answering.

But first it’s worth noting what we don’t do. We don’t cram you into a one-size-fits-all “program.” Nor do we insult you by suggesting that you need to be converted to the one true path.

What we do is listen to you first. We assess your situation. After that we explore your interests, strengths, and abilities and how they can be used to replace your alcohol abuse.

We also look at your goals, preferences, ideas, and desires. With that in mind we can help you design your activities that will lead to a better life without alcohol abuse.

Through all of this process we are your support group and the only one you will probably ever need or want that has an alcohol component. And you’ll only need us very briefly. Neither we, nor alcohol, will be an on-going feature of your life.

We’re sure you haven’t missed the theme here. What we do is centered on you – not some program or cult that you must join for the rest of your life.

We believe that you can fully recover from alcohol abuse and leave it behind. It’ll just be a “been there, done that” part of your life. It’s really not much different from being an ex-smoker, and you can just as proudly be an ex-drinker.

Changing Your Life

Last week we promised to look at change in more detail – specifically what components make for successful change.
The first thing to remember is that real change begins when we do something. This may seem obvious – but it usually isn’t. Most of us waste years, or a lifetime, thinking about changing, waiting for someone else to change, waiting for the world to change, waiting until after Christmas, or New Years, or our birthday, or until someone dies, or we win the lottery.

We often hear clients say, “I have been doing something! I’ve been going to therapy!”

We’re sorry, but too often “going to therapy” is about getting ready to do something – or avoiding doing something. Yes, some folks get the right therapist, make the right changes, and take the right actions, but not often enough. Too few therapists are skilled at cognitive-behavioral-therapy – the most effective format for addressing alcohol based problems – and most are either untrained or mistrained in dealing with alcohol abuse at all.

The really good news here, however, is that you don’t have to wait for anyone else to begin improving your life. You don’t need permission (if you think you do we’ll help you with a short course in assertiveness training), you don’t need anyone else to change first, and you don’t have to wait on events, holidays, or Armageddon.

You do need to start doing stuff.

What stuff?

That’s where good short term help can come in handy. That’s what we do. We help you map out the best possible way to get from where you are to where you want and deserve to be.

In that sense, we’re a lot like a good trainer. We assess your current state. We offer options and possibilities. We guide you towards real changes in manageable stages. We show you how to manage on your own. And we let go of you whenever you’re ready.

Notice – no meetings, no groups, no lifetime label, not even a weekly session for years to come. You leave your alcohol abuse behind, and you leave us behind too. Just the way real change should be.
And it all starts with a free phone call. Imagine that!

Tools We Use

Ten Reasons to Run From AA – We tripped across this and other YouTube related videos recently and they contain a lot of truth as well as humor. We thought you might enjoy them too, as well as getting a little food for thought.

You can get a sample of how we work by down loading and using our Cost Benefit Analysis; Long Term Goal Planner; and Weekly Planner. They’re all available for free at: Resources For You!

You can also find many other helpful sites at: Alcohol Treatment: Organizations and Resources.

And you can call us!! One of us answers the phone personally 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., California time, Monday – Thursday, unless we are with clients.

Even on the weekends, Friday – Sunday, we’re normally available from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

We think you deserve our personal and professional attention so we don’t use answering services, volunteers, or other intermediaries. If we can’t answer because we’re with a client or away from our desks, please leave a message. One of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour

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