What to do When a Spouse Breaks Their New Year's Resolution to Quit Drinking

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Within 14 days after the New Year begins, research suggests most "I'll never drink again" resolutions will fail. So what do you do with the problem drinker in your family?

Within 14 days after the New Year begins, research suggests most "I'll never drink again" resolutions will fail. So what do you do with the problem drinker in your family -- just stand by and watch them self-destruct another year? Or make "Tough Love" ultimatums that you won't feel comfortable following through with?

Beverly Hills addictions expert Dr. Marc F. Kern recommends a non-confrontational approach for dealing with a loved one. "As a father and a husband, I can't imagine kicking my loved one out on the street. That's why I have researched and developed a highly effective and positive approach called H.A.L.O., which stands for 'Helping a Love One.'

"With the H.A.L.O. approach," Dr. Kern continues, "you can learn that the simple act of making small changes in your own behavior, strategically planned, precisely timed, can help your loved one begin to change their habit of excessive drinking and start down the road to recovery."

Dr. Kern explains that, with this innovative approach, people learn how to "tip the balance of the status quo" of their relationship and change the behaviors that have actually fed the addictive behavior.

"Relationships are like dancing the tango," Dr. Kern explains, "You both get used to a predictable pattern of steps -- which is the 'status quo' of your relationship. If you suddenly move to the left instead of the right, your partner has no choice but to change what he or she does next as a result of your action.

"This is the core idea of H.A.L.O. and the main reason it is an effective way to motivate addicts out of their rut and start taking positive actions toward their own recovery."

The "H.A.L.O." approach:

  • Allows spouses to step back and see the bigger picture.
  • Helps to stop obsessing on the daily details of relationship problems and the painful history of who did what to whom.
  • Provides a proven strategy for initiating life changes immediately after the H.A.L.O. session.
  • Provides a step-by-step Action Plan that clients and Dr. Kern create together.
  • Helps gain the confidence and know-how to begin making changes in one partner's behavior, thereby setting the stage for their loved one to make life-long changes.

Dr. Kern's non-confrontational "H.A.L.O." approach is explained on his new website, http://www.habitdoc.com.

Dr. Kern is one of a growing number of psychologists, therapists and counselors who are taking their message to the Internet to reach areas of the country where people do not have local access to experienced specialists.

A popular guest expert on radio and TV shows, including 20/20 and Larry King Live, Dr. Kern will be featured on New Year's Day on "Resolutions," a one-hour program on the Learning Channel that illustrates four methods of quitting smoking.

He will also be presenting his workshop, "How to Cut your Drinking Down Now so You Don't Have to Go to AA Later" in January at Los Angeles' Learning Annex. He is the author of "Take Control Now!" and co-author of "Responsible Drinking."

To schedule an interview or get more information:

Marc F. Kern, Ph.D., Addiction Alternatives, Inc.,

9171 Wilshire Blvd., Suite #680 , Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310-275-5433) http://www.habitdoc.com

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