The Couch of Willingness

The Couch of Willingness

An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and A Broken Recovery System

Book - 2014
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Michael Pond had helped hundreds of people recover from alcoholism, but he couldn't help himself

After two decades of helping clients battle addictions, Michael Pond, a successful therapist, succumbs to one himself. He loses his practice, his home and his family to alcoholism, ending up destitute in a rundown recovery home populated by a cast of characters straight out of Dickens.

The Couch of Willingness is a real couch in that home, a couch where Pond is forced to sleep until he surrenders and admits he's powerless over alcohol. But just when Pond gains any measure of sobriety, in sashays his other powerful addiction, Dana, a can of Red Bull in hand and a 26er of vodka in her purse.

Pond's harrowing two-year journey to sobriety takes stops in abandoned sheds, dumpsters, ditches, emergency wards, intensive care, and finally, prison. His riveting account crackles with raw energy and black humour as he plunges readers into a world few will ever have the misfortune to experience.

Along the way, Michael the drunk finds himself shamed and stigmatized by the very system in which Michael the therapist thrived. The dissonance rankles for Pond and, by the end of the story, for the reader too.

Publisher: [North Vancouver, British Columbia] : Everywhere Now, ©2014.
ISBN: 9780993714702
Characteristics: ix, 309 pages ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Palmer, Maureen - Author


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Aug 07, 2017

Note that an updated version of this book was published in 2016, with the title, "Wasted : an alcoholic therapist's fight for recovery in a flawed treatment system."

Sep 14, 2014

This one caught my eye because of it's local setting (Vancouver). A sad story of how a therapist's life went down the tube due to the lure of alcohol. However, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and Michael Pond comes out the other side a much better person. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone with friends or family going through a similar situation.

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