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Not everyone begins this work with the goal of abstinence. Many begin with the goal of controlled use. Goals often change as the process unfolds. Individual needs are respected in the toolbox customization process.

Standard and customized sobriety toolboxes are built on the premise that:

  • You were not born an addict or problem user.
  • Addictions and problem use are learned ways of being that become subconscious paths of least resistance.
  • Addiction and problem use recovery is not about cleansing oneself of sin.
  • Cementing new ways of being requires meeting the learning needs of the subconscious mind.
  • We are not the CEO of our lives until new beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors are consciously chosen and cemented.
  • Our mind often does not work logically, we must learn to influence and guide it towards healthier programs.

You may wish to review the following pages:

We have developed a range of models (disease and morality) in an attempt to understand and manage addiction issues and yet people still struggle. In spite of their best efforts, the compulsion to use is a daily battle for many people. For others binging (periodic use to excess) is a problem.

We understand addictions/problem use on a psychological and a physiological level, and yet, there is no known "cure."

There is no form of treatment that is 100% successful for 100% of people. The goal is to find a service/program, or a combination of services/programs that will best meet your needs.

Traditional supports such as AA have been shown to offer some success rate, but for many the need to admit powerlessness and interact with others who appear to be in more dire straights, is not a fit. For others, regular meetings literally save their lives.

This work is not about cleansing oneself of sin or addressing physiological aspects of addiction or problem use, rather the focus is on discovery and re-connecting with the parts of the self that are still healthy. It is these parts that offer the foundation for changes in beliefs, feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

Some individuals begin this work with the intention of developing safe social drinking habits or controlled use, while others begin this work with the intention of abstinence. Regardless of the original stated goal, almost everyone admits to “not really wanting to quit using.”

Most clients who come into this work and label themselves as addicts or problem drinkers are smart, creative, insightful, caring, talented and capable at their core. They have, over time, learned to use substances as a “tool” to escape past trauma and/or current stress. Over time, the subconscious mind has accepted ways of being that are not congruent with their true potential.

Regardless of the current goal, or the reasons for having hard-wired problematic use, each client needs to realistically address triggers, develop a new game plan and commit to doing whatever it takes to program a healthier response. This can only be achieved in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. 


The subconscious mind is influenced during times of high vulnerability (childhood and/or stressful events as adults).

When we are vulnerable decisions are made to protect the self, and to enhance well-being. These decisions may seem realistic, practical and helpful at the time.

However, the subconscious mind, is a servo-mechanism and is not capable of distinguishing whether or not these decisions are helpful in the present.

The subconscious mind has one job-to maintain the status quo.

The subconscious mind is not our soul or our spirit. It does not have the ability to determine if a past decision is in our best interest, or if it is applicable to the here and now.

The decision to respond to stressful events through anxiety, depression, anger or addiction must be viewed as being driven by the desire to care for the self (original intention). However, the manifested outcomes of these decisions eventually creates challenges on many levels.  

  • The part that seeks to maintain the status quo is often not in alignment with current goals. If this part is not re-educated we simply will not reach our full potential. 
  • The manifested outcomes of past decisions become subconsciously hard-wired, and hinders what we wish to achieve in the present, and ensures that our goals for the future will be thwarted.

This work views all challenges as realistic outcomes of decisions that were made, and cemented, at a time of vulnerability.  Fundamentally, we seek to protect the integrity of the self but create ways of being that do not serve us in the long run. All presenting concerns are viewed as natural, normal, realistic, and practical outcomes (manifestations) that are a result of positive initial intentions.

"Habits are at first cobwebs, and then cables.” Spanish proverb
"We need to systematically regain a belief in ourselves and make a decision about who we are going to be."TLC

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