Changes in the Newsletter

As I approach 10 years and 500 editions of the Newsletter I’ve decided to make a couple of changes. This is mostly due to the issues surrounding effective help for people misusing alcohol having gotten more complicated and therefore needing equally multifaceted consideration and information. That will result in a somewhat longer single issue article as last week’s Newsletter reflected.

It’s also because I want to encourage more of you to participate by asking questions or reflecting on your own experiences. These inquiries and contributions will be the new second section as demonstrated by today’s issue.

That said, here are a few thoughts on “Why Would You Want to Work With Us?”

After 12 years of offering evolving solutions to your overindulgence in alcohol we have a good idea of why individuals have found working with us their best solution. Perhaps clients’ reflections will stimulate you to move from Contemplation and Research to Action as described last week.

The word “individual” comes up frequently in talking about our work with you. No groups other than you, the two of us, plus a spouse/partner/friend if you so choose, and of course the office mascots, Scruffy and Phoebe. The focus is entirely on you, the issues you are medicating, the solutions to these, and the implementation of whatever mosaic of alternatives to alcohol we create together.

In comparison, in a typical 90 days program, you will receive perhaps 7 hours of individual attention from a para-professional whose job is to regress and brainwash you into AA or some other religious cult. Here you get professional attention that amounts to 15 hours of my time, 15 of Dr. Barnes’, 1 of Dr. Norcross’, plus another 12 or more during the 3 months of follow-up.

Which brings me to the second consideration which is an extension of the first as well as a product: “confidential.” Many of you are licensed or certified professionals, have security clearances, or other personal and/or professional relationships which can’t – or shouldn’t – burden you with the new scarlet A for alcoholic, which few of you are in any case. And we’re still the only confidential program in the country.

Research based means we offer a mosaic effective solutions depending on what conditions you are medicating: CBT for anxiety and depression; Assertiveness Training for unbalanced personal/professional relationships; Habit Breaking for changing personal “drinking rituals;” Diet and Exercise considerations for blood sugar maintenance; and a number of other facets unique to our work with you.

“Educational” in the sense of Deprogramming you from all of the AA/12 Step disempowering and humiliating nonsense that pervades our culture, “rehab,” and the unconscious decisions we and those close to us make.

“Efficient” – 5 days here then 12 weeks of follow-up which can be in person or by phone or Skype all of which protects your privacy and precludes you being “labeled” as is unavoidable if you disappear for 30 days or more, even if these programs worked which they don’t (another Minnesota Model myth with no substantiating research none).

That’s pretty much the outline of why clients come to us from just about everywhere. And for a long term perspective I offer the letter we received last week in the following section where, in the future, we’d be happy to feature your questions, comments, and concerns.

Last Week a Former Client Wrote:

Dear Mary Ellen,

“Several weeks ago a friend told me about an interesting book she had just read, Her Best-Kept Secret, and thought I might enjoy it. Imagine my surprise when the author first mentions you and Ed on page 150! That brought a smile to my face, then gratitude for all of the support you both gave me.

I identified with women in the book – fear, shame, anxiety. All that changed when I met you and Ed. I knew I was where I was supposed to be. I can’t begin to tell you what your help has meant to me.

You and Ed treated me with such compassion and kindness when I came to see you in 2011. I will never forget that and I wish you all the best.

Sincerely and Fondly,”