Teaching you the solutions to be your own self-help counselor for life.
Substance Abuse Counseling
My abstinence-oriented program is for individuals with addictive problems. My self-empowering program focuses on ideas and techniques to help you change your life from one that is self-destructive and unhappy to one that is constructive and satisfying. I do not use labels like 'addict' or 'alcoholic' - I teach scientifically validated methods designed to empower you to change and to develop a more positive lifestyle. Addictive behaviors can serve a purpose — to cope with life’s problems and emotional upsets. There can be drawbacks, however: while addictive behaviors may be effective coping methods in the short term, but they may cause harmful problems in the long term.
The focus is on learning coping skills that work well short and long-term. My ideas are based on what addiction science has shown to be effective. As with most of my work, I am not much concerned with the past, except to learn from it. I focus on present-day events and the causes of self-destructive behaviors, concentrating on what to do about them to achieve a positive lifestyle change, especially in the areas of your life that are related to harmful addictive behavior.
Key Areas of Awareness and Change
My approach mirrors SMART Recovery’s approach to behavioral change which is built around a 4-Point Program: (1) Building and maintaining the motivation to change. (2) Coping with urges to use. (3) Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors. (4) Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.
Motives and Goals
Motivation is a key element in nearly all you do. Consider that all human beings share several primary goals: survival, the avoidance of pain and happiness. Any addictive behaviors you engage in are to pursue these primary goals. I can help you see that you may be meeting these goals short-term but impairing your ability to meet them in the long-term.
What you believe about addiction is important, and there are many beliefs to choose from. You may believe, for example, that you’re powerless, or that after the first drink you lose all control and can’t stop. These beliefs may actually be damaging to you. Similar examples include, "I’ve tried and failed, so I can’t do it. I need alcohol to cope.” Or, “Because I’ve tried to quit and failed, I’m no good.” Those beliefs, and many like them, can’t be justified because the evidence just doesn’t support them. I will help you identify, examine, and modify your beliefs about yourself, your problems, and how to change.
People often engage in addictive behavior to cope with emotional problems, including anger, guilt, anxiety, and depression. I teache you how to diminish your emotional disturbances and increase self-acceptance. Then you can have greater motivation and the ability to change and to live more happily.
Changes in thinking and emotions alone are not enough. Commitment and follow-through are essential. I encourage individuals to become involved in enjoyable activities that replace their problematic addictive behaviors.
If you believe that:
You can't see yourself not drinking or using ever again
That continuing your drinking or using is easier than quitting
That quitting is so hard you can hardly bear the thought of it
If you quit that you'll never have a good time again
If you quit then you'll be so nervous and anxious you"ll go crazy
You can't picture yourself doing some of your favorite things without drinking or using
You're in the right place. I offer a unique yet time-tested approach to substance abuse counseling that has a solid track record for over 34 years. I will provide with what you need to overcome each of the above, and more, and how to handle all of your emotions without using or drinking again.
You'll come away from my program not only clean and sober but also with a full understanding of why you abuse and how to keep those emotions in-check so you can truly enjoy your new and exciting life for the rest of your life.