We do, of course, receive notes from clients which we appreciate very much. Sometimes we pass these along, especially when they remind us of points which, after 15 years, we tend to take for granted. The following is a good example:
“Dear Ed and Mary Ellen
It is with deep gratitude that I say how very lucky all of us are to be BOTH of your patients. You really complement each other and instead of doubling your impact, it’s a times ten.”
From the beginning we designed our services with a number of unique features, none more so than our team approach. We consider this to be one of the most critical aspects of our work with you.
Still, we sometimes forget that aspect until we are reminded, it has become so ingrained in how we work that we forget about it.
Why is it so important and effective?
From the beginning clients have commented on the advantages of having two perspectives. Opposite genders, widely different histories, an introvert vs an extrovert, and so on. Yet at the same time we also manage to model how a mutual, equal, respectful and competent professional relationship works. Given the level of good will and good humor, many of you have assumed we are also modeling why our marriage works until we note that we aren’t married and part of why it works is that we go home separately after work.
However it is, it does work to your benefit and many clients take full advantage of their access to both of us.
And the challenge?
The challenge is for you to take full advantage of that access. You won’t be overshadowed by another client because there is no other client. No “group” will demand your adherence and we have no agenda beyond assisting you in fulfilling yours.
On another note, if you are working with us, and wish to include a spouse, partner, friend or family member, there will be none of the gender triangulation that dooms most “couples” and “Family” counseling.
Last, if you want, we can also more effectively “deprogram” others from all of the 12 Step nonsense that may inadvertently cause them to sabotage your efforts at leaving a stubborn self-medication habit behind. Yes, we can help them help you, too.
From you, we have often heard the question, “Why? Why? Why?” And we always answer, “Mostly it doesn’t matter.”
Paralleling actual medical conditions, knowing “why” you have measles – because your parent is an anti-vacer – or that smoking caused your COPD, doesn’t fix anything.
So too with your drinking. Why you started, whether it’s family, culture, fraternity or sorority, self-image, or conformity to the group doesn’t matter. Fixing it does.
Eventually, down the road, if you want to spend some time doing forensic research on “why”, well, okay, we can do that. But for now let’s focus on what your drinking to avoid and how to address rather than evade.
Yes, there are relevant questions, the most pressing one being: “What motivates you?”
That is what you need to know in order to fuel change.
No you don’t need to tell us, you just need to remind yourself when you encounter a rough spot.
So, no more “Why me?” and a lot more “What now?” and “What matters?”