Help For Couples
Sometimes, even after we’ve been open for 12+ years, and I’ve been doing the research for 30 or so, I realize that I haven’t always been as clear as I might have been.
When we first set up our www.non12step.com website – and you can see how early that was given that we had no trouble registering “non12step” – we knew we were only interested in providing services to individuals and couples. We also knew that these services needed to be tailored to specific individuals and couples. That made the website formatting deceptively simple:
Visit the website and there those categories are. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, actually, nothing really went wrong. It’s just that people got confused about spousal/partner/friend/family involvement and what fell under each category.
So this is a brief foray into better defining your options.
First, because we only work with individuals and couples, no groups, and with only one new client per week, what does “1 individual a week” mean?
Basically it means that the woman or man who officially signed up as the “client” seeking short term effective and confidential assistance is in charge of any other involvements beyond us, our physician Tim Norcross, D.O., and the close mouthed office dogs, Scruffy and Phoebe.
Here are the extremes: we have worked with clients whose spouses and family will never know they’d done this. At the other end, one man’s wife, a retired court reporter, took verbatim notes of every session.
So much for the outliers.
Most clients have a spouse, friend, or family member take part in a few of the sessions. Typically, this amounts to the first day so that they get any questions answered, and the last day so they understand the ongoing process and the reasons behind what we recommend. They get “deprogramed” from the AA nonsense that pervades our culture and also a bit of education in being supportive which not one person in 20 understands.
However, it is important to remember that any involvement is at the sole discretion of the client. We do not include, report to, or discuss anything without your explicit information release which may be revoked at any time, no reason needed or expected. You are the one becoming “empowered” and this is part of where it starts.
“Okay,” you say, “so what’s with the ‘couples’ programs?”
Frankly, we haven’t been able to find anyone else who does, or can, work with couples. The standard routine is: one of you does your 30 days first, the other next, both go back to each other and attend both AA and Alanon. Because after all, “no marital or related issues can be addressed until you’re both in recovery!”
How well do you think that will pan out after you’ve spent $70,000 to $100,000, or more, to become even more isolated from each other.
This third category comes up when you both have a drinking problem and it needs to be sorted out both individually and together. You both get equal time, Dr. Norcross’s assessment, and individual follow-up for 12 weeks or so.
The problem here is that when one of you decides it’s time to get a little help the other says no it isn’t. Six months later they decide it is time and you decide it isn’t. This can go on for years and usually does.
The solution? When one of you decides it’s time, don’t wait on the other. Just schedule the time. If you spouse/partner decides to come along – and they usually do – fine. If not, you get help of your own and can start deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life.
In all of these cases, woman, man, couple, it comes down to deciding it’s time to fix the problem whether you feel ready or not. Odds are, as with any condition, we rarely feel ready – we just decide to do it.
Want to explore the options for your unique situation? Good. We’re happy to talk and there’s no charge for an initial consultation.
Please, just remember, that “contemplation hell” is no place to spend any more of your life.