Standard and customized treatment toolboxes are available. You may wish to begin a starter program or have a custom toolbox created for you.
Addiction recovery toolboxes are built on the foundation of the Cow Path Model of Change™ and offer a range of interventions.
The toolbox may include the following: psychometric testing/assessments, treatment planning-executive coaching interventions, & social work counselling summaries, hypnosis/guided imagery recordings, neuro-linguistic programming activities and accountability measures.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. It's important to realize that: 1) You were not born an addict or problem user 2) Addictions and problem use are learned ways of being that become paths of least resistance 3) Addiction and problem use recovery is not about cleansing oneself of sin."-Excerpt from the complimentary Creating a Sober Identity Mini-Workbook
After many years working with people who abuse/misuse substances my therapeutic approach is not mainstream, but then, there is no hard evidence to indicate that any one specific approach consistently provides positive measurable results for everyone. In fact, most people who come to this work have already exhausted more traditional approaches.
From a solution-focused perspective, the abuse/misuse of substances begins with the intention (conscious or not) to manage uncomfortable states such as stress, anger, sadness, frustration, anxiety.
There is a range of options to choose from to manage our emotional states, some are healthier than others obviously. Some people choose to exercise, naps, conversations, healthy snacks ect.to manage their immediate uncomfortable emotional state. Others have conditioned their primitive mind to accept less desirable methods such as alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, etc. to alter their emotional state or frame of mind.
I think we have to ask why do substance abuser/misuser choose the less healthy alternatives?
1) a lack of faith in the self 2) a lack of confidence in one's abilities to choose healthier coping methods.3) lack of healthy role modelling. All of these “whys” can be explained or understood through the lens of social programming and original potential.
My intention here, however, is to normalize “negative” choices while also highlighting the reality of how the use of substances/activities can become hard-wired and ultimately wreak havoc on an individual’s self-concept.
Being sad, angry or anxious is an expression of an emotional state. These are natural responses to difficult situations. However, the duration, intensity, and frequency of these states can morph into habitual unhealthy paths of least resistance and become accepted ways of being by the powerful primitive mind. These paths of least resistance become automatic and can be seen/experienced in both mindset and behavior.
The decision to manage these states with substances/activities should be seen as a self-loving response to unmanageable pain and/or an automatic reaction that has been learned through modelling and/or conditioning.
It is true that some people have a predisposition to developing addictive behavior and the mental constructs that lead to the absorption of an addict self-image. A solution-focused approach accepts that some people do have a predisposition to addiction but that an addict identity is not inevitable.
This is not “denial” but the willingness and ability to entertain the possibility that ways of being have been learned and can be unlearned based on the premise that most people are not born addicts, even if a predisposition exists. The problem user, who sets the intention of abstinence or controlled drinking, and does not self-identify as an “addict” generally has more options for healthy living.
Let’s go back to the idea of emotional states for a moment. It is crucial to remember that It is a natural human reaction to feel challenged by unexpected or difficult changes. Change may be the loss of a job, a relationship upheaval, the death of a family member, pet or friend, a health concern of financial difficulties. Chronic challenges can also drain mental and physical energy. The result can be a depletion of motivation and the belief that things may never become better.
This is not uncommon reasoning, for most people, whether or not substances are an issue. However, the big issue is that capable, smart people eventually adopt the self-image of addict and close the door to other possibilities. These people quit asking the question “what else is possible for me?”
Again, seeking comfort is healthy and normal. The challenge for people who misuse substances is in maintaining a healthy belief in self while struggling with the behavior of substance misuse.
Capable, intelligent people who come to identify themselves as addicts view new tools, skills, and strategies through the lens of addiction, and again, this limits possibilities. Learning to become someone who is in control of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but has learned substance misuse/abuse patterns, is the exact opposite of allowing the mind to adopt and absorb the self-image of one who is addicted.
"My custom toolbox is perfect BUT it was the process that blew my mind. The discussions were life changing for me. Grateful beyond measure for the change in my life. My wife was skeptical but now she’s thinking about starting this.” Scott, M. Calgary
"The path is clear. No more excuses. Every area of my life has improved, thank you Terri Steve, F Edmonton
“Never drinking again caused me more anxiety then beginning to identify as a functional alcoholic. I still drink but have greater control, in all aspects of my life.” H. S Edmonton
"This was well worth the investment and better then spending money on another vacation." Dennis H Calgary
“I wish I did this sooner. I still go to a few meetings (AA) but more then anything my toolbox has been a lifesaver.” Sal, M. Lethbridge
“Much more support and help then I expected. You really drilled down and got me moving on a better cow-path. I love my toolkit.” G.K. Calgary
“To be honest I was harassed and came on board with grudges and attitude. Setting my own goals was a good start. Doing it my way, my reasons. You totally got that. Fuck them.” Trish, N Detroit
“So true that at the end of the day a sober lifestyle and being the “CEO” of my life is a DIY project. Only I can make the changes. I just didn’t have the tools or skills before. I think this is more then about sobriety for me it was a whole mindset shift. You really understood me and I am grateful.” Jean, R Lethbridge
"The whole process from start to finish was a really great experience. My custom online sobriety/recovery toolbox is a godsend." Francis, K Calgary
"This was exactly what I needed and am grateful that my family referred me to Terri. I got everything I needed for my recovery. The information, support and knowledge has been second to none." Jean, H Red Deer
"I accessed my online sobriety toolbox quite often in the beginning and it kept me on track. I have the tools I need to prevent relapses and on the one occasion that I fell off the wagon, my toolbox got me back on my new “cow path.” Andy, O Brandon
"It was crucial for me in the early stages to have the crisis access and executive coaching features included as part of my sobriety toolbox. Having this customization was perfect. Now I just follow my program online and find staying sober to be easier then I ever thought possible."Karen, D Edmonton
"I have been the through the range of typical services but never considered this for addictions. Didn’t expect that this would be such a fit. But it was, thank you from the bottom of my heart." James F Edmonton
“Terri, I feel like I am on the other side now. I feel ten feet tall and bullet proof.“ Lance D Fort McMurray
"You put the pieces back together. I know you say it is me but I say it is you.I am grateful for the recovery toolbox." Kim R Edmonton
"What you did for our family, I don’t know how to even begin to tell you the difference this made to us."
“Exactly what I needed and the toolbox will be a great long term follow up. ” Sam B Edmonton, AB
"It has been a long battle for me, but the customized program helped me get back to a better life."
Jean F Sherwood Park
“You really know your shit, what a pleasure to work with you and I love my toolbox.” Henry, M
"Being able to drink again social was my goal. Thank you for supporting my decision." Jake F. Fort St. John
"Clean and sober. These tools should be taught in school." Teresa C St. Albert
"I have gone from always being livid and drinking when triggered to now being the coolest cucumber in the room:) I just about ruined my life, my relationships and my career.” Bob C Edmonton
"After losing another job I had to face facts. I can only control me. You brought out the leader in me. I know you believe it because all along you believed even when I couldn’t and would get mad at YOU! I can hardly image a better life then I have right now. You have my utmost respect and gratitude forever" Jack W. Calgary
"What I liked most was the customization. For me this was huge. You really listened and you know your stuff. Its goddam scary to think of where my life was heading." Jim, Timmons
"My kids are finally getting the dad they deserve." Ken T Edmonton
"This has seriously impacted my marriage greatly. Terri thank you for the work you do." Tom M Fort Sask