Finding The Right Path To Real Recovery
By Shari Schreiber,
wrote this because so many people who phoned me, wanted to know
how my methods were different from traditional sorts
of interventions they've tried, and I wanted to provide illumination.
spent twenty-four years helping clients rebuild themselves from
the ground up. I'm currently semi-retired, and moving into my
next life chapter. I hope you'll still benefit from my presence
in the world and my writings, but I'm exploring new domains, and
hoping that wherever I land will be as gratifying as this
work has been for me.
a video on my YouTube channel, Shari Schreiber, M.A.
which specifically addresses how to go about finding a good/solid
therapeutic fit. I hope it helps guide you to a fruitful outcome.
you read this, perhaps you'll think of it as a roadmap that can
help you look for a professional to assist you~ not merely with
overcoming challenges you currently face, but for getting to the
core of those difficulties and resolving them,
once and for all.
want happiness, but have no sense of how to acquire it.
My approach hasn't been for someone looking for a quick-fix. It's
for those of you who've tried just about everything else and still
haven't found genuine happiness. I'm not describing those brief,
delightful episodes that come with finding romance or buying a
new car or home. I'm referencing an ongoing feeling inside
you, that's tranquil and joyful.
am not a psychologist, nor did I have a psychotherapy practice
beyond my six years in private practice as a Marriage and Family
Therapy (MFT) intern, over two decades ago. Since that time, my
consulting work has not concerned itself with your
may derive as much information as you wish from my online articles,
soon to be books~ but my work was not concerned with helping clients
"gain insight" about their pain. It merely helped them
quit fearing it, and engaging in addictions and other self-destructive
behaviors they'd used to avoid or distract from their agony, which
kept them impaired.
my view, all obstacles we face are due to poor self-worth. This
is what influences how we relate to and take care of ourselves
within personal and professional relationships. If we regard self-worth
as the hub of your wagon wheel, any damage to it means
that all spokes which emanate from that center will be weak and
susceptible to breaking, under any type of strain or pressure.
of poor self-worth:
in a job or career you don't enjoy. Remaining in an undersatisfying
or abusive relationship. Feeling afraid to raise fees in your
business. Fear of what people may think of you. Feelings of unlovability
and unworthiness. People Pleasing. Ongoing struggles with money
and/or finances. Never feeling at ease in social situations. Fear
of success, love, riches, joy, and having what you really want.
Fear of confrontation, or initiating difficult conversations about
your needs or feelings. Belief that it's not okay to even have
needs. The list is practically endless.
work has helped clients accomplish two things: Building
self-esteem, and learning how to feel and tolerate dark, difficult
emotions in the body, rather than analyzing
and over-thinking them in the head.
might go to a gym to strengthen and develop your physical muscles~
but has anyone ever taught you how to build powerful emotional
muscles? This should be the crux of your inner work.
Wellness means that you should expect incremental gains from weekly
sessions which might include interim care (mine always did). Getting
healthy will likely require your determined and focused effort,
but the rewards to you could well exceed what you've ever dreamed
became an Ordained Minister, as it seemed a more congruent fit
for the type of assistance I offered people. I'd always sensed
there might be quicker, more effective ways to help those who
couldn't find relief using conventional therapies, and who slipped
through the cracks. Throughout my entire career, I focused on
inventing and developing unique groundbreaking methods which facilitated
one's capacity to accept contentment,
happiness and inner peace. Perhaps it's hard to believe, but many
work has been a growth-oriented modality that was aimed
at resurrecting self-worth and helping one become whole, happy
and content within 18 months or less. Some clients needed more
time, but I worked as rapidly as I could with every individual,
to bring about relief and personal expansion.
provided clients with concrete power tools specifically crafted
to dismantle and eliminate the 'negative tape' that plays 24/7,
which constantly asserts; "I'm a fuck-up, I'm not good enough
or lovable." You're relentlessly hard on yourself,
which causes you to choose lovers or friends who echo exactly
how you really feel about you! These tools are now shared
with you in my YouTube videos.
given me greater glee, than witnessing a client's total transformation.
It's truly a metamorphosis, like the caterpillar to butterfly
transition. If I couldn't help bring this about, I'd have sought
a different career decades ago. I've been selective about who
I accepted into my practice, for some people actually resist getting
well, and my time is too precious a commodity to waste.
may not be a suitable candidate for an unconventional approach
to healing, and it might not be a solid fit for you, your goals,
personality and temperament. In any case, a responsible
practitioner will try to assess congruency during your initial
pre-work consultation, for it should never be their desire to
offer you help you can't or won't make good use of.
pay special attention to the following. It might just help you
begin to turn your life around.
enter into someone's office 'cold.' If they're unwilling
to have a brief phone consult with you to discern your difficulties
and sense whether they can help you before
your work begins, you should call someone else.
to get a sense of this individual and whether you can
feel understood and comfortable with him/her. They should want
to get a strong sense of you also, to determine whether you can
be a good, solid fit for them and the type of work they
like to do, and for which they are best suited!
deals with matters of the mind. My articles
can speak to the core of your anguish, and perhaps help you gain
useful insights about it, but my actual work
was never insight based~ nor did I wish to intervene with clients
in this manner, as "mind" work can turn into too lengthy
would not permit clients to retain their comfortable love affair
with survival. I wouldn't allow them
to complain about their Life month after month (which is incredibly
boring) without getting to the root of
that problem, and resolving it. Mine was solution focused work
that helped them learn how to Thrive--not merely survive. Survival
oriented individuals who remained addicted to chaos and drama
were not suitable candidates for my work. They were urged to seek
a better fit for themselves elsewhere.
might presume that wealth will cure your woes, but it
won't. I've worked with multi-millionaires who have never felt
safe or secure. They struggled with loneliness and emptiness just
as you have. When you've gotten all the boats, planes and houses
you can own, and they don't eradicate that painful vacuum inside
you, we have a sort of 'existential crisis' on our hands.
concerns pertaining to this issue are developmentally driven.
They're about our need to change or amend what we've been
doing for decades. As we evolve, we can't keep performing the
same tasks year after year, without outgrowing our ability to
be stimulated by them! It's like wearing an old suit that's now
a couple sizes too small. We've made substantial investments in
that wardrobe, but we had different values and priorities
in our twenties and thirties that don't fit with the needs of
our forties, fifties and sixties. When we aren't responsive
to these changes, our passion steadily wanes, and each day requires
great effort (or various
addictions) to help us maintain a sense of vitality or aliveness.
desire for this aliveness can have us choosing high-intensity
relationships with partners who have personality
disorder traits. The emotional roller-coaster they keep us
on triggers anguish and anxiety,
which distract from our own feelings of emptiness or dissatisfaction,
which may have haunted us for years, but that we've harshly judged
and tried to avoid or outrun through any means possible.
another makes us feel our emotions intensely, whether
those emotions are pleasurable or painful, it's actually grounding
and enlivening to us (dead people can't feel pain). This could
be the reason we've clung to tormenting, toxic relationships long
past their shelf life or our ability to access joy within them.
comes easy. Happiness takes daily, diligent work.
lack of love, abundance and prosperity are just symptoms
of poor self-worth. When our pre-existing foundation is rotted
and crumbling, no structures we try to build on it can remain
intact. The primary goal of healing work is to bring about tangible
and permanent foundational restructuring and change.
is scary for most people, because it threatens long-held stagnancy
that is often mistaken for "safety." You've landed on
this text, because you've bought into some faulty belief
systems, which have kept you 'enrolled' in self-defeating behaviors
and thought patterns. These must be eliminated, so that you can
acquire real happiness, and learn how to maintain it.
you're looking for someone to take your money and be your sounding
board week to week, you might not actually want help. Effective
therapeutic assistance won't perform
this function for you. Its commitment should be to help you acquire
wellness in every sense of that word.
REAL RECOVERY ACTUALLY IS:
pain is not stored in the head. It's stored in the body, and each
one of your body cells retains a traumatic imprint from every
emotional wound you've ever incurred.
holistic or 'whole organism' approach to ending pain, which centered
on your body and spirit. If you're not responsive to these parts
of you, you're missing the boat in context of well-being. My methodology
embraced the principle that you are not just a brain
hooked-up to a life-support device. This was body-centered work~
not psychological intervention or mind
Real Recovery is antithetical to psychotherapy. It requires that
you learn how to feel emotions in your body, instead
of talking about them and attaching meaning or reasons
to them in your head. That practice was not allowed by me.
might consider genuine Recovery to be like acupuncture, as compared
to western medicine. Western medicine treats the symptoms
of your discomfort or "dis-ease" to help you feel better~
whereas Chinese medicine targets the cause of
your distress to eradicate it from the body. In a sense, effective,
real healing is intended to unblock and heal emotional
Qi or 'Chi.'
work reached beyond mitigating your dissatisfaction or pain. It
was about helping you thrive, rather
than just survive or feel "okay" about your life. If
there isn't enough 'juice' in your daily existence, you might
be sleepwalking, and you should seek help. This is likely contributing
to addictive/compulsive behaviors and poor relationship choices
which have brought you chaos, pain and confusion.
methods encouraged emotional dependency, but only in the beginning
stages, until you could become fully self-reliant. Its primary
aim was to help you grow a sound/healthy, emotionally independent,
rock-solid sense of Self.
luck, you will find a practitioner who will give you tools to
help you construct your self-worth foundation brick by brick,
so you can climb out of the self-defeating, deeply-dug trenches
that have kept you disabled. Access my YouTube videos, for effective
'power tools' I routinely used in my practice.
should receive help to deconstruct the negative tape that's been
haunting you most of your life; "I'm not lovable
or good enough," for recovery is impossible, if
you can't or won't learn, and integrate tools that help usher
you into authentic wellness.
approach taught clients how to confront anyone at anytime about
anything. They gained communication skills and methods which gave
them newfound confidence in social and professional arenas.
taught each client effective strategies which helped them build
a strong and sturdy personal foundation, so they could come to
admire, genuinely like, and feel proud of themselves.
inner work you do with someone should be a collaborative
effort. While you're gradually building trust in them,
you might think of them as your 'significant other' on whom you
can depend for guidance, support and concrete tools that can bring
about self-actualization and joy.
have not healed people! I merely illuminated and guided their
path, and gave them self-restructuring tools, which taught
them how to heal themselves. This radically unconventional
approach helped many build self-respect, healthy entitlement and
consulting work was been experiential~ not cerebral.
It was individualized to respond to the needs of every client~
but the basic principles I adhered to, are described below:
- Clients learned how to experience, accept, tolerate and endure
dark or painful emotions without fear of annihilation, repercussions,
doubt or self-ridicule. This power tool is essential,
if you've ever wrestled with addictions.
likely been thinking your way through life, as opposed
to feeling your way along. As a direct
result, you don't trust your instincts or intuitions, which are
there to serve and protect you! These extra-sensory aspects are
literally your built-in survival guide, but they can't function
when other feelings like anger or depression are banished from
you can't trust others, you haven't learned to rely on your innate
instincts to guide your decisions, and you
do not trust yourself. If this
isn't repaired, you'll keep shooting in the dark hoping to hit
the bulls eye, and second-guessing right choices~ especially when
they prompt less than comfortable feelings.
methods focused solely on what you are
feeling, not on how you are feeling.
This non-traditional approach helps you connect with facets of
your Self, so you can access life-force within you! In
my view, it's the most important gain you can ever achieve.
your feelings were welcome here. You were never
made 'wrong' for them, and I looked forward to when you'd express
your rage, even at me! You've likely had to censor yourself your
entire life--but we pulled out all the stops here.
loved working with angry people! Their feelings are closer
to the surface, so they tended to progress faster. In essence,
you got to experience being fully You, without fear of being guilted,
punished or abandoned~ or having it be about "your
- Clients received guidance and support to help them become the
person they've always wanted to be.
restructuring process helped my clients acquire nourishing,
productive, healthy ways of talking to and treating themselves.
This of course, exerted a positive influence on every aspect of
growth is cumulative, but seldom linear.
wellness consulting often felt counterintuitive to clients, as
it was a fresh, innovative approach they had never been exposed
to before. There's a natural learning curve that comes with trying
anything new, so someone might backslide a bit, and that's
to be expected. My work was designed to help clients learn and
grow~ not perform perfectly.
who previously enlisted the help of psychotherapy, might expect
that type of interplay when they began
working with me, and it was hard not to anticipate
that style of engagement. If I began to sense someone couldn't
or wouldn't make the crucial transition from those more familiar
methods to mine, I'd urge them to seek help from the
type of practitioner who provides it, and we would part.
healthy limits and boundaries here, because if they already had
them, they wouldn't be needing my help. I was be a bit
stern occasionally, but it was solely to halt one's self-sabotage,
and get them back on course. My only mission was to help individuals
get stronger, as swiftly as possible.
- I am nothing, if not an educator. My work has been about helping
you become empowered. As such, we helped you learn to
help yourself. (Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.
Teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.)
most important and vital relationship you will ever form and maintain
is with You. When you master this, all your relationship choices,
experiences and outcomes become healthy and positive.
- Clients would start noticing an absence of pain~ and
they had to adjust to it. It wasn't easy or comfortable at
client who was committed to Healing
reached a fork in the road, which felt uncomfortable for a little
while. This part of recovery can be challenging, because we were
navigating terrain that was feeling foreign, and it takes some
getting used to. We crossed this bridge together, and I was available
for interim care to help it feel a bit less scary.
noticing a sense of contentment and peace. They began feeling
their emotions, rather than hyper-analyzing them or acting
them out. Being 'alone' stopped triggering dread and fear,
because their friendship with Themselves had grown far more solid,
rewarding and comfortable on many levels.
were no longer observing themselves through another's
eyes. They learned to take their own emotional
temperature, rather than everyone else's! Trying to make sure
everyone liked them (people pleasing), wasn't a priority
anymore. New feelings of respecting and liking themselves,
who improved quit starving and striving for acceptance and approval
from others. They gained the desire and capacity to give approval
to themselves--and they owned
is incrementally acquired. Much quicker would likely
feel too destabilizing, but 'FREE'
was my acronym for what you'd be experiencing, along your way
to it. My methods helped clients make permanent, irrevocable modifications
to their pre-existing paradigm. This
work brought about dramatic, life-altering changes regarding how
one views and relates to him/herself.
into sentient, self-actualized beings, capable of giving and
receiving love and abundance. They evolved to see relationships
sort of like the frosting on a well baked cake that's scrumptious
when eaten alone~ but is a tad sweeter with some topping.
clients surrendered their desperate hunger and need
to be loved. They'd ultimately grown into knowing
they were lovable, and were automatically able to
make healthier, more gratifying friendship and romantic choices,
which reflected an unshakable, authentic sense of self-worth~
it to say, getting well is a process.
The principles of my work were simple, as were the tools
that were taught~ but the work was challenging for people, because
it had to reorganize and reconfigure what too many think
is necessary, like avoiding difficult emotions, to save
their own life.
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