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David–An Alcoholic of Fifty Years’ Standing Finds a New Life

adult man holding an alcoholic drink

ADDICTION/INTERVENTION

Nancy was my original client, but this post concerns her father, David. Nancy, a brilliant lawyer
working in NYC called www.holistichealingny.com seeking help with anxiety and depression. After six
months of intuitive counseling and energy healing, Nancy felt ready to take a momentous step. She
decided to write her father a letter concerning his alcoholism.
She read several drafts of the letter in her individual sessions with me and in a codependency
group that I facilitated. Each time she read the letter she cried profusely. She wrote about her childhood
trauma, and how his alcoholism continued to cause her pain and anguish as an adult. In this process, she
made a final decision. She would not allow her 65-year-old father, David, to see her two younger
children any longer. During a recent family vacation, he had caused too much humiliation and fear. She
could not allow her 8-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter to live as she had been forced to live as a
child.
A traditional intervention in which she and her five siblings along with their mother would
confront the alcoholic did not seem appropriate to Nancy. She had to do it her way, since she was the
only one in treatment at the time. She mailed him an ultimatum: He must get help, or he would never see
his grandchildren again. She sent copies of the letter to her siblings and her mother. She had discussed
the letter with her mother, and her mother agreed it had to be done, but she herself was not ready to
actively participate.
Nancy’s siblings responded to the letter with intensity. Some of them raged at her, but others
were relieved that someone finally spoke out.
Nancy’s personal intervention brought David to my office. When he and his wife came for a
couple’s session, she entered the room in tears, while he followed in a shameful stance. They had been married for over thirty years. He had his own electrical business and his wife was a nurse. He told me that
his initial rage on reading the letter had turned to sorrow. His wife wept through the entire visit as she
explained how alcohol had caused so much pain in their lives. At the end of the session, David admitted
he had been drinking since he was thirteen years old, and that both his parents had been alcoholics.
I was concerned that David refused to go into a thirty day rehabilitation center. He did say that he
was willing to visit me once per week to learn about the disease, and to receive counseling, and energy
healing. Although I felt he needed traditional rehabilitation, I was willing to work with him as long as he
followed the treatment plan and did not lie. I explained to him that lying was a symptom of the disease,
and I needed him to be honest and accountable. He agreed.
David felt he hit bottom after he read the letter and realized he might never see his grandchildren
again. “It would kill me,” he said. In fact, he had always worked very hard to give his children and wife
what they needed financially.
I began treatment with David in May 2010 and he has never relapsed. He is sober three years,
and, like his daughter, he did it his way. He continues working with me to keep his sobriety alive. He has
retired and sees his family often. He not only has five married children but eleven grandchildren who fill
his life with joy. Every time we meet he tells me how grateful he is for his new life. It’s a life that with
help, David himself created by making new choices, taking responsibility and not acting like a victim.
I adapted the traditional treatment plan to address the following:
1-Intensive Assessment: Health, Psychological, Social, Vocational, Nutritional, Activities, Legal
2-Stages of the Disease
3-The Twelve Steps
4-Dealing with Denial 5-Recovery
6-Writing Feelings Daily
7-Defenses
8-Masks
9-Sexuality Issues
10-Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics
11-Loving the Self – Inner Child Work
12-Reading Material on Alcoholism and Codependency
13-Individual and Family Sessions

Holistic Modalities Addressing Mind, Body, Spirit:
1-The Darin Method {Patterns, Beliefs, Ego and Shadow Work}
2-Energy Healing – Releasing Emotions
3-Chakra Release – Releasing Emotions
4-Breathing Techniques
5-Gratitude Journal
6-Prayers and Rituals
7-Guided Imagery and Visualization 8-Affirmations
9-Color, Light and Sound Healing