Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions that have come up previously – if you have any questions at all that aren’t listed here please get in touch.
How long does the programme take?
There is a 1-month intense option which takes a lot of commitment but is very impactful.
The 3-month option is equally as impactful however, this helps if you have don't have the time to commit to 1-month.
Is the programme religious?
No. There is no mention of God or religion throughout the programme. Although, if you are religious that is absolutely fine – the programme is aimed at being inclusive regardless of beliefs or non-beliefs.
What type of work will I have to do?
It is mainly written work (this can be handwritten or typed). Getting your thoughts down on paper is a very effective way of you becoming engaged in the exercises. Additionally, there is also reflective/contemplative exercises and discussion-based work too. Importantly, we will identify real-life situations where you can apply what you have learnt – doing this brings confidence, trust and belief in what you are doing.
What if I’ve already been in a treatment centre/rehab?
This is absolutely fine, in fact, the programme is ideal if you are in this situation. Sometimes, people can leave a treatment centre and then it’s a case of, “well, what now?”. Making Changes is designed to set you up for the long term and not just a ‘quick fix’.
What if I get stuck on an exercise or don’t understand something?
Not a problem – give me a call, text or e-mail and I’ll get back to you asap.
What if there is something I’m not comfortable with in the programme or it’s something I want to do differently?
You are encouraged to speak your mind and take ownership of the programme – this is how you grow your confidence and become more empowered. What we do have to make sure is that you’re not avoiding some of the more challenging work – this is important as some of the more challenging work is usually the most rewarding in the end.
What are your qualifications?
I am an affiliated member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners (FDAP), have a Master’s Degree in ‘Comparative Drug and Alcohol Studies’, 5 years working as a peer supporter in the voluntary and private sector and have been successfully sober since 2013 for over 7 years,
Am I expected to stop drinking alcohol or taking drugs?
That’s the aim of this programme yes, otherwise the exercises aren’t really beneficial. We qualify this at the beginning and part of the First Change is to look at this in real detail. Lots of people are sceptical about this and can be wary, even afraid of giving up, so we don’t put too much pressure on this at the start. Once you do the exercises you will hopefully become excited at the idea – especially if it’s been causing you problems. The whole programme helps us learn how to live without alcohol or drugs so that we don’t want to take them, never mind need to take them.
What format do the Changes come in?
You will receive printed and bound copies of each Change in full colour A4 booklets. The booklets aren’t a challenging read in terms of font size or amount of reading. The font is a nice size and the booklets include images also.
Do I have to have severe alcohol or drug problems to go through Making Changes?
No, absolutely not. I’ve helped severe addicts and those that maybe binge once a week or drink too much wine 2 or 3 nights a week. Each person and their situation is unique and the programme can help all regardless of the severity of the alcohol or drug problem. Remember, dealing with the substance issue is only one element of the programme – much of it is about changing how we approach life and so it can even be useful for people who don’t have an alcohol or drug issue.
You mention that you used alcohol to self-medicate for anxiety. I don’t really suffer from anxiety but still think I have an alcohol problem – does the programme also apply to people who have different underlying motives?
Yes – anxiety is just one of many factors that can lead people to problematic use or addiction. In general, it is usually a different blend of genetical, biological, psychological, sociological and even environmental factors that can play a part and whilst there can be similarities in each case, ultimately, every person’s situation is unique and the programme is designed with that in mind.
Do you work with male and female clients?
Yes – the programme requires challenging discussions and so it doesn’t really matter whether you are male or female.
Does it matter what my profession is?
No. Each profession comes with challenges when it comes to the consumption of alcohol and we address those head on and implement practical methods to deal with them. Personally, I have worked in a business and sales environment for many years and that is one of the toughest environments to remain sober in and still be professionally successful. These days I still do some consulting in the technology space and I still get asked out to networking and drinking events but am confidently able to attend them, socialise and be productive – all without drinking alcohol. If you bear in mind my naturally anxious and isolative nature, you can understand why this is an achievement I’m proud of and believe it means I can also help professionals who face similar circumstances.
Where are you based and does it matter where I live to go through the programme?
The short answer is that it does not matter where you live, in fact, in this virtual world it could be anywhere in the world. I am based in the North West and most of my clients are from areas such as Preston, Lytham St. Annes, Altrincham, Hale, Alderley Edge, Manchester City Centre, Liverpool and Southport. However, I do also have several clients in London and have previously worked with people in Glasgow. I am happy to travel to wherever I think a person is serious about going through Making Changes and if I think it will be beneficial for them. Where there is a distance to travel we have also successfully delivered the programme online 1-2-1 or as a group.