Pin It

“Most Alcoholics Are Better at Denial Than Counselors are at Counseling” and 8 Other Reasons Recovery from Alcoholism is HARD

 Joe McQuany & Theodosia Cooper | Serenity Park | One Day at a Time | David Palmer

“People try to attack the protective barrier of ‘denial’ and get the alcoholic to admit he is an alcoholic,’ the late Joe McQuany once observed. “The jury is still out on how effective this can be,” he continued, “in most cases this is a waste of time as most alcoholics are better at denial than you are at counseling.”

In 1972, Joe McQuany, who was literally world famous, and others at Serenity House in Little Rock, began to search for ways to apply the program set forth in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous published in 1939 for alcoholism treatment. Their purpose was to design a program that would give counselors in alcoholism treatment centers a broader and deeper understanding of the AA plan of recovery from alcoholism and be able to present the program to clients clearly and effectively.

What emerged in 1978 was Recovery Dynamics which gave counselors a manual based on the 12-Steps of the Big Book to assist them in their counseling. Since then it has been adopted by a number of treatment facilities both here and abroad.

The manual, with almost 400 pages, is more about life than about alcohol and here are eight more examples in addition to the one about denial, taken from the text.

  • As alcoholism progresses, the family also gets sick at the same pace as the alcoholic. The same sickness that torments the alcoholic torments the family. Even though the spouse and children do not drink, they experience and feel the same fear, loneliness, self-pity, rejection and resentment.
  • Will power will not work against obsession. First of all, no person is powerful enough to overcome the obsession for alcohol or drugs. If will power would have worked, we would have used it and recovered long before we came to treatment.
  • Many people would like new actions but they do not want to give up their old thinking. They are trying to do the impossible: keep the old thinking but get different results. If we turn our will over to God, as we understand him, we will receive new thinking and new actions.
  • What we are dealing with here is a spiritual illness. Spiritual illness has certain symptoms. Spiritually ill people have resentments. Spiritually ill people are full of fear. Spiritually ill people have problems with other people and feel guilt and remorse.
  • Humility is not bowing down nor is it lowering oneself. It is simply becoming what we were created for. God created each one of us for a purpose. As long as self is in control we live and do what we think we have to do to please self. When we rid ourselves of self, then we can find our purpose in life or why we were created.
  • Most processes in life require time-time for growing and dying. Time is always involved in any process of change. It takes time for a person to change. Recovery from alcoholism is not an event; it is a process of change.
  • Mistakes should be accepted as part of successful living if they involve a learning process. A person should not let his mistakes cause discouragement. He should immediately return with the information from the wrong course of action to make a new decision, an easier decision after eliminating one off the incorrect courses.
  • Whatever a person believes he becomes. There are thousands of people in jail because they believed they could steal and get away with it. At the same time, millions of people are free because they believe they cannot steal and get away with it. Many active alcoholics will find insanity and death because they believe they have to drink to live. A million and a half alcoholics are sober: they believe if they do not drink, they can live and be successful.

Speak Your Mind