Information for Clients

While this is a public page, it is intended for clients. This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.

Greetings, clients! 

As of 2/7/22, much of the content of this page has been reorganized, expanded, and moved to this Awareness Skills page.

To begin to learn, practice, and execute awareness skills, you are invited to complete these exercises.

  1. Self-Care Checklist
  2. Awareness Skills Self-Assessment
  3. Checklists to Assess Needs, Wants, Strengths and Preferences
  4. Values and Priorities Exercises

We use these handouts frequently.

About relationships, findings from the Gottmans’ research on what makes and breaks relationships is powerfully useful.

One primary intention of acquiring awareness skills is to be able to make this statement:

“What _________ did for me, I can now kindly and effectively do for myself. I may want _________ but I no longer need it/them. I can make conscious choices. In instances when I am uncertain what to do, powered by my values and directed by my priorities, I can use problem-solving strategies on my own and consult with informed others for help.”

You are invited to try our self-guided program for people with substance use challenges to use in tandem with medical careSelf-help is not an evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder. The .pdf is 107 pages long and was last updated 7/28/19.

Supplements to Help That Helps are here.

If you have substance use concerns, you are also invited to read, in recommended order:

  1. Outline of an Initial, Evidence-Informed Treatment Plan for Substance Use Disorder
  2. Guide for Clinicians to Initial Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
  3. NIDA: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction
  4. Chapter 4, in Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, November, 2016*
  5. Your selection from current articles by neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz
  6. Changing the Narrative
  7. A clinical description of the methods we’re using and the research base for them

Here are guides I have written that might be helpful:

  1. Insider’s Guide to Early Abstinence
  2. I Am a Person with the Health Condition of Addiction
  3. A Typical Day in the Life of a Person Following an Evidence-Based Treatment Plan for Addiction

What fights addiction? Love, evidence, respect
As you attend medical appointments, please consider filling out this guide to requesting medical care to assist you when consulting medical professionals.

Our materials are designed to use both simple language and clinical terms so they’re easy to understand and you can do your own research. You’re encouraged to use PubMed to find research articles on topics of interest to you.

“I was in hell,” she said. “And I made a vow: when I get out, I’m going to come back and get others out of here.”
– Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), quoted in the New York Times

If you only have time to read one book on substance use, please read this one:

If you only have time to read one novel, here’s an unorthodox recommendation. This is the best depiction I’ve seen of the skills it takes to abstain from problematic substance use:

If you only have time to do one workbook, consider this kind one:

If you want to dig more deeply into how you may be thinking and feeling, consider:

If you experience life acutely, but your symptoms may or may not fall on the borderline personality disorder spectrum, this workbook and selected pages may be helpful:

  • The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook, Daniel J. Fox, Ph.D., 2019.
    Diagram on page 19; Chapter 3 on attachment, Chapter 7 on belief, behaviors, benefits; Chapter 8 on triggers; Chapter 9 on relationships, Chapter 11 on high-risk situations, Chapter 12 on challenging beliefs, and Chapter 13 on self-soothing.

If you only have time to read one book on relationships, consider this one:

If you only have time to read one article and view one video on relationships, try these:

Also consider these Questions for Couples.

If you only have time for one app, try this one:

If you need support outside of sessions, consider counseling through online text messaging.

Recommended movies for learning about emotion regulation:

Recommended for trauma:

Recommended on bipolar disorder:

Recommended on obsessive-compulsive disorder:

Recommended for borderline personality disorder:

Recommended for autism spectrum disorder

Please peruse this resources page and read what interests you. Introductory individual and group sessions may include suggestions that you try some of these exercises excerpted from Help That Helps.

Please bring any questions or comments you have to our sessions. I treasure working with you!

. . . . .

If you are not yet a client of my private practice and would like to become one, and are a resident of Virginia, please phone, text, or email me your email address and I will send you registration information via email.

*The Surgeon General’s Report, published in November, 2016, needs these updates:

  • In terms of treatment effectiveness, research data does not support inclusion of 12-step approaches or rehab.
  • Research does not support inclusion of naltrexone, or extended release naltrexone, as a primary treatment for opioid use disorder, equivalent to methadone and buprenorphine. Further, naltrexone may be contraindicated for those with liver disease and can be associated with depression. According to Buchel et al., November, 2018, “blocking opioid receptors decreases the pleasure of rewards in humans.”

Last updated 10/20/20

This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.