Living Experiential Recovery

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Happy to Be Sober with The Next Step

“Having spent many years suffering the consequences of increased dependence on alcohol, it took me until I was 44 years old to finally accept that I needed to seek help. I found and checked into a 28 day treatment program which I completed and left feeling fit, healthy and thinking I was fixed.

I lasted two and half days before having a very dangerous relapse but was lucky enough to be cajoled back into treatment. I’d met Paul in group sessions during my first stint and felt extremely confident in him and his methods. Before finally agreeing to go back, I therefore insisted that he be my counsellor.

Over the following 6 weeks, Paul and I worked on a very personalised and specific relapse prevention program that Paul designed, fine-tuned and honed. The plan was devised to ensure that I was prepared for and had the tools to deal with any eventuality or situation that life may throw at me without resorting back to alcohol and the inevitable consequences that would follow another relapse.

Another focus of Paul’s work with me was recovery lifestyle. From my experience (and that of many people that I know), general treatment programs serve a purpose – they get you sober as you’re effectively shut off from the outside world, and they teach you some tools that you may be able to make use of in times of crisis. However, what’s usually lacking is any form of program personalisation, meaning that you get a program that’s very general and as such many parts may be lost on you. More importantly, upon completing your treatment, you re-enter the outside world with no real idea of how to embrace and enjoy life in recovery. You are instead either wracked with fear and anxiety or, in the case of my first treatment, with the belief that you’re cured and that you’ve got the measure of your problem, both of which are extremely dangerous as in many cases lead to a relapse.

At the end of my time with Paul, I left with genuine excitement at the prospect of a new life in recovery but also with a much clearer understanding of and respect for the power of my disease. Thanks to Paul, this time I was far better equipped to deal with life on its terms and am now close to celebrating my first year of sobriety.”



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