Couples

Many times we find ourselves working with couples – which is something we do that almost no one else does.

We do it because the misuse and abuse of alcohol exists within a context and with couples both are usually involved. That doesn’t
mean that the spouse is to blame – alcohol abuse is still the drinker’s responsibility. But the drinking does include spouses, and so will successfully correcting the problem.

You can readily understand that you really can’t hope to have much success changing an entrenched behavior pattern without everyone who’s involved being affected.

Why don’t other programs work with couples? For one thing it doesn’t fit the “disease” model which pretends that alcohol problems
are treatable in isolation without ever having to disturb spouses, parents, children, or anyone else. Given that premise it’s really a wonder they even manage the 3%-5% success rate they do.

But as we know from years of working together, the only really effective way to eliminate the problem is to involve everyone who’s
affected.

Why? First, we work as a team which makes it difficult for spouses to feel ganged up on, which is a significant problem in individual
counselors working with couples. Frequently it’s even true, which again, doesn’t fix anything.

Next, we are able to take an approach that includes all of the problems that the alcohol abuse symbolizes and address those in ways that diminish or erase the need to cope through alcohol. Those are usually problems that are reflected within the relationship and, let’s face it, you can’t unilaterally fix mutual problems.

Finally, during the twelve weeks of follow-up we’re able to help you adjust and adapt within your day-to-day life which is, after all,
where the real changes must occur and be maintained. 30, 60, or 90 day vacations from reality aren’t going to do that.

Nor is attending endless meetings that are designed to further isolate you from your spouse and reality.

So, what’s your choice? A healthy, intimate, supportive relationship? Or one that’s even more dysfunctionally “in recovery”?

If it’s the first, give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

On A Personal Note…

I, Ed, am saddened to report that Jazz passed away last week a month after his 14th birthday. He will be sadly missed. He led an
extraordinarily calm, peaceful, healthy, and loving life.

I have always found him to be a role model for aging gracefully:

-dine with gusto;
-nap often;
-hang out with really smart women;
-don’t complain;
-turn a deaf ear;
-appreciate attention.

Happily, he did not suffer, and died peacefully, and much loved, in our arms in his favorite spot in his yard. All of us should be so
fortunate.

As my sister Emily noted, “grief over pets is frequently sharper than with our more complicated relationships.”

I couldn’t agree with her more. I also note that as the grief is sharper, so are the good memories, memories uncluttered by the usual
vagaries of our human relationships.

Jazz comforted, inspired, and, yes, kept us company through many a trial, change, loss, and triumph. I grieve him deeply, and I will
continue to miss him even as his picture brings a smile to my face whenever I glimpse it above my desk.

Holiday Opportunities

Our office will be closed from December 19-27, though one of us will still be answering the phones. As we have done in previous years, we will be taking clients for the 5 Day Program running through December 18!

What a great way to end the old year and begin a new 2010!

Individuals, or couples. Why not call and discuss the options and availability?

We’re also accepting reservations for January for those of you who prefer to wait until after the holidays. Why not put some teeth into that New Year’s resolution?

SO! Call and talk! One of us answers the phone personally from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, Monday – Thursday,
unless we are with clients, or from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

If we don’t answer, leave your name and number and one of us will usually be able to get back to you within an hour.

Toll Free From the Lower 48 or Canada: 888-541-6350
In Los Angeles, or from Alaska: 310-541-6350

Or E-Mail us at: maryellenanded@non12step.com